With the support of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), has announced the establishment of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa) to support and develop the entrepreneurial environment in the Emirate of Sharjah.
Sheraa aims to support young people to enter the world of business and provide the appropriate environment and conditions. It also aims to establish an efficient environment for incubation of entrepreneurship focusing on innovation, creativity and development. It will also harness the energy and innovation of young people and counsel them to make informed career choices, as well as attract innovative entrepreneurs who can start their own enterprises in the emirate.
Sheraa will be launched on January 17 at the University City Sharjah under the patronage and in the presence of, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah. The center will operate as an initiative of Shurooq under the Chairwomanship of Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi.
It will be headquartered in the American University of Sharjah and will encourage an entrepreneurial attitude among young people by creating partnerships with universities, colleges, research centres, students, alumni and faculty on the one hand, and the business sector and investors on the other. It will provide support, training and consulting for young Emiratis and residents from all nationalities, and help them develop the confidence in themselves and their ideas so that they are able to launch promising projects in the emirate.
Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, said: “Our long-term vision for Sheraa is to promote the culture of innovation in entrepreneurship among young people by guiding them through the process of ideation, implementation, development and continuity. We want to motivate the younger generation in the world of business and investment and help them reach new heights in this field. We want to transform Sharjah into an influential entrepreneurial destination where people come to drive their ideas into reality.”
Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi also said that, as a community, Sharjah has been at the heart of entrepreneurship through the years, as it has hosted many international conferences and seminars around the world such as the Global Forum for Foreign Direct Investment.
Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi appointed Najla Al Midfa as the director of the centre due to her vast experience in the financial and business sector and her competency in strategy development. Al Midfa worked at a number of global companies in the UK and US before joining Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development as a Senior Manager. She holds an MBA from Stanford University and is also a member of the board of the Young Arab Leaders. In 2012 she became a board member of the United Arab Bank.
Sheraa initiative is in line with Sharjah’s drive to strengthen its status as a regional and international destination for innovation and entrepreneurship. Young people in the UAE make up the vast majority of entrepreneurs in the region and are a key source of business in small and medium-sized enterprises in Sharjah and the UAE. To keep this attitude alive and booming in the nation, it will organize many activities and programs to nurture more mature business thought among young entrepreneurs. It will lay down foundations that make innovation the core of all entrepreneurship beginnings and also create new employment opportunities and jobs for young people and spread the positive impact of entrepreneurship in the local economy of Sharjah and the UAE.