The Pearl Initiative launched the Business Pledge to call upon senior business leaders in the Gulf Region to make a public commitment to adhere to principles of ethical and responsible conduct when carrying out business and interacting with society. 

The Business Pledge allows business leaders to showcase their best practices while uniting students and business leaders to discuss the four pillars of Pearl Initiative’s Business Pledge programme.


The Pearl Initiative team would like to thank the following organisations and individuals for their valuable input, time and engagement with our programme:
  • Emirates NBD
  • Elena Cruz, VP, Head of Brand and Corporate Responsibility, Emirates NBD
  • American University of the Emirates and Dr. Nikolina Ljepava 
  • American University of the Emirates students
The Pearl Initiative team would also like to extend a special thank you to PepsiCo as supporters of the programme and the Business Pledge initiative.

Event Summary  

Event Location: American University of the Emirates, Dubai

The Pearl Initiative held a collaborative event between Emirates NBD and American University of the Emirates on 22 April 2019.

The event was a Business Pledge session, held as part of the Pearl Initiative’s student engagement initiative. 

The Business Pledge is designed to connect students with business leaders, affording them the opportunity to learn more about the practical aspects surrounding the implementation of sustainable best practices in business.

The session was delivered by Ms. Cruz on the pillar of ‘Setting targets for sustainable and responsible growth’. Ms. Cruz began by addressing the basics of social responsibility and highlighting how it takes more than just compliance with regulations to be sustainable. She then spoke about the Social Investment Framework, which details the importance of CSR on social return on investment at Emirates NBD.

Ms. Cruz went on to address the two flagship platforms at Emirates NBD, called ‘Together Limitless’ and ‘Money Wise’. 

Together Limitless is an initiative whereby Emirates NBD advocates for the rights of people of determination. This initiative supports the inclusion of people with disabilities on multiple fronts and since its inception, Emirates NBD has placed over 50 people with disabilities in long-term employment across the UAE. 

Money Wise is another initiative through which Emirates NBD holds seminars, panels, and workshops that promote financial awareness, as well as a community forum with 25 community leaders working together to identify gaps in financial literacy. The motive of this initiative is to empower employees, customers, and local community members to better manage their personal finances, thus maintaining a financially healthy standard of living.

Ms. Cruz spoke briefly of other areas of focus  of Emirates NBD. These including Women’s Empowerment, Community Development, and an Exchange Volunteer Programme. 

Ms. Cruz concluded the session by highlighting the resultant return on investment from community and social development initiatives carried out by Emirates NBD.