How Social Entrepreneurship Succeeds In Kuwait

How Social Entrepreneurship Succeeds In Kuwait

Kuwaiti entrepreneur Zahed Sultan talks about the development of organizations to navigate civic and environmental concerns using creative, socially tactful methods.

Plus Aziz
  • 14 january 2011

Leading a handful of start-ups, Zahed Sultan has an emergent presence as one of the Middle East’s top social entrepreneurs. As a talented and creative thought-leader, he gives insight into what has made his ventures in Kuwait so successful and how and his team are tackling environmental concerns.

Tell us about your background and how REUSE came to be established.

“In November of 2005, I co-founded El Boutique Creative Group. El Boutique Creative Group is a visual communications consultancy devoted to creative thought and social responsibility. We offer a diverse mix of communication platforms and advisory services to both corporations and consumers alike and strive to invigorate them with creative energy via conscious thought.

In May of 2007, in an effort to expand our initiatives and introduce a new brand identity for a client, El Boutique designed a creative brand launch event for The Metal and Recycling Company (MRC), a leading commercial waste management company in Kuwait, to raise awareness for the environment, promote recycling, and highlight the importance of waste management.  The event was entitled REUSE.

Conceptualizing and organizing REUSE 1.0 brought about the idea for developing an initiative dedicated to social responsibility in the Arab World – en.v”

How does communicating with the private sector differ from communication to the public sector?

“Communications to stakeholder communities must be dealt with tactfully and strategically – especially in the Middle East.  Interests in any given community differs from one to the other (be them personal, societal or commercial).  Therefore, in order to ensure effective reach you must have a clear vision of specific wants and needs, incentivize your approach (or activities) and measure outcomes / returns. To our dismay we are traditionally a reactive society; we wait for something to go wrong and then act upon it.  Environmental concerns are becoming “a concern” because the outcomes of environmental misconduct (on a multitude of levels and sectors) are now visibly impacting people’s daily lives – in turn they take notice and are inclined to act.”

REUSE is a very successful platform that’s now in its 4th year. What about the en.v initiative attracts social and brand communities?

“en.v is a budding initiative. I am thankful that we identified this niche or need several years ago and planted the seeds for it to blossom.  Our efforts to ensure consistency (from partner engagement to impactful communications) are what have and hopefully will support our organic growth as we expand to appeal to global Arab audiences.”

Tell us about Dow’s Marine Conservation Program in Kuwait’s islands. How is Dow preserving Kuwait’s islands? What are your other sponsors/partners doing?

“Dow recently signed a title partnership with en.v in support of our marine conservation program (entitled Dow’s Marine Conservation Program) and the fourth edition of REUSE.

Our marine program’s activities launch in Q1 of 2011 and will aspire to group and gather existing / active volunteer groups with varying skillsets under a single umbrella to work towards developing a collaborative (and sustainable) marine protection / preservation program.  Dow’s integration of science and technology with “The Human Element” is mutually aligned with our commitment to preserving a primary natural resource of Kuwait.

Other partners and sponsors of en.v are actively involved with social causes that align with their individual corporate strategies – such as Zain Telecommunications’ investments in recycling, Agility Logistics investments in humanitarian disaster relief, and ExxonMobil’s in youth and education.“”

What trend makes you optimistic about the future?

“e-communities – Technology is playing a vital role in civic society today.  The digital realm provides aspiring professionals, active youth, or passionate individuals in general with a complimentary set of tools and platforms with which to engage desired stakeholder communities – which in the physical realm would prove costly and less accessible. Furthermore, as interconnectivity becomes more advanced, content, once developed as static, is now being developed dynamically (and on the go) thus fueling active participants in the e-realm to adopt DIY methods to create and disseminate content across a multitude of media almost instantly (hence the creation of nomenclature such as guerilla marketing, viral media, etc.)

Technology is the social lubricant that today has enabled civic participants to group and gather more frequently through the digital realm (by way of “commenting”, “rating” or “liking” other participant activities) thus allowing for greater social inclusion – not to mention creating tangential e-communities.”

Anything else to add?

“Please go to to learn more about the creative ventures I am involved with (next on the agenda is the release of my debut music album in the Spring of 2011).”

Thanks Zahed!



Modular System Lets Musicians Create Their Own MIDI Controllers

Arts & Culture
Travel Today

Mercedes Reveals Dazzle-Free LED Headlights

Digital Light offers great precision with a resolution of over two million pixels

Product Launch Today

Nissan Is Testing A Digital Car Sharing Program In Europe

Nissan plans to launch their new service in Paris sometime this year to trial the profile-matching service


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Social Media Today

Your Favorite Tweets Are Now Wearable

This temporary tattoo allows fans to wear their most favorite moments from the social platform

Health Today

This Mirror Tracks Your Dark Circles And Fine Lines

HiMirror is a device snaps a photo of your face every day to provide feedback on how to care for your skin

Related Expert

Scott Ballum

Environment, Retail, Online Media

Sustainability Today

Biodegradable Furniture Made From Pine Needles Could Be The Next Phase Of Sustainable Living

Premiering at Dutch Design Week 2016, the collection fully utilizes an often wasted material

Retail Today

Creative Director: Navigating The New World Of Founder-Brands

Richard Smith, Creative Director at Sullivan, explains how visionaries like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg approach their branding and why it’s important to apply brand thinking to founders’ products

Syndicated Today

Madrid's 'Robin Hood' Cafe Charge The Rich To Feed The Poor

The charity restaurant makes money from customers by day to offer homeless people meals at night


Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

VP: Why Messaging Apps Are Issuing In A New Era Of Commerce

Matt Johnson discusses how mobile messaging commerce is creating a different modality for interaction between retailers and consumers

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

USA Today

Amazon Launches Cashier-Free Store For Ultimate Efficiency

The retailer is looking to make shopping even faster by letting customers instantly pay as they walk out the door

Augmented & Virtual Reality Today

Marble-Like Mini-Worlds Invade Miami Art Week And Your Mobile Screen

The gallery world's sphere of influence seems to be expanding into the realm of Pokémon Go—why that's a good thing

Technology Today

A 'USB Stick' That Can Detect HIV Levels

The simple device developed at Imperial College London measures viral load in less than 30 minutes

Customer Retention Today

Crafting The Personalized Retail Experience

Marriott International's Christopher Baer shares insights into how the hospitality company is strategizing customer service

Retail Today

Zagat's Cafe Offers Tiny Replicas Of Classic NYC Dishes

The restaurant rating service created buzz for its new guide and app by opening a tiny food cafe


Conference Built Around Report Launch

Children Today

Experience The White House In Augmented Reality Using A $1 Bill

1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is an AR app designed to help people learn about the history and significance of the United State's capital building

Travel Today

Portable Computer Monitor Opens Up Like An Umbrella For Travelers

This mobile screen and projector means work can go anywhere and still feel like working from home

Food Today

Starbucks Is Selling An Automated Temperature-Setting Mug

For those looking to keep their coffee hot on their winter commutes, the coffee chain has created a device that keeps beverages exactly at their desire temperature

No search results found.