Macat and social responsibility.
Why It Matters to us.
Corporate social responsibility is high on the agenda of most successful organisations today - and for good reason. But one thing that has become clear to us in recent years is that the real power of an organisation’s CSR efforts is not to be found in its policies or promises. It lies in the commitment and vision of teams who recognise the importance of transparency, authenticity and truthfulness.
Macat International delivers its ground-breaking online learning, assessment and development solutions across Europe, Africa and Asia. By partnering with major educational and government institutions in these regions, Macat is transforming the performance and employability of millions of young people as well as managers and entrepreneurs grappling with the demands of the New Economy - an achievement which former Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, Professor Lord Alec Broers, sees as part of an ambitious project “to democratise education for all.”
As part of Macat's wider commitment to social entrepreneurialism, our founder and CEO Salah Khalil - who is Egyptian by birth - also established The Alexandria Trust, a London-based charity dedicated to restoring world-class education to the Arab region. He said: “From the start, Macat has seen itself as a partner in global problem-solving. We are driven by our connection to the shared values and culture of the communities we operate in, and the Alexandria Trust was a logical extension of this vision.”
Macat's targeted philanthropy has generated extraordinary results. The Trust was set up with a £1m investment from Macat and has since managed to raise nearly £6m from major donors including the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the UN Democracy Fund, Open Society Foundations, the Sultan Qaboos Higher Center for Culture and Science, and the Lebanese philanthropist George Farha.
Part of the Trust’s remit involves translating and publishing analyses of seminal works in the social sciences and humanities into Arabic. But perhaps its most important project to date was setting up Al-Fanar Media in 2013. This independent non-profit news organisation is akin to Times Higher Education for the Arab world and focuses on education, research and culture across the region. It not only acts as a watchdog for academic freedom; it monitors the extent to which women, minority groups and the poor have full access to education, and champions universities as beacons of arts, culture, and scholarship. So far, it has published more than 3,000 articles, together with commentary and resources, in both Arabic and English.
Macat CEO Salah Khalil is clear about the lessons he has learned on his own leadership journey: “As a business, you’ve got to look beyond simply doing good. Our CSR initiatives tell the story of who we are, what we believe in and how we impact the world. It’s not about supporting quick-fix projects. It’s about creating long-term value and addressing major strategic issues and challenges.
“I have always found that the greatest opportunities come from areas where the business significantly intersects with the priorities, values and ambitions of the individuals and communities we serve.”