A new Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre has been launched at the American University of Sharjah this week. The centre, which is branded ‘Sheraa’, is an initiative of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and aims to inspire young people to start their own enterprises and raise the emirate’s profile as a preferred destination for startups.
The launch event was attended by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah; Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Shurooq and of the new Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre; Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq; and the new general manager of the centre Najla Al Midfa.
Sheraa will be headquartered in the American University of Sharjah and will provide support, training and consulting for young aspiring entrepreneurs, including both Emirati citizens and UAE residents. The entrepreneurship centre will forge partnerships between educational institutions, the private sector and investors. The government plans to use Sheraa to help transform Sharjah into hotbed of innovation that attracts entrepreneurs.
Emirati businesswomen and entrepreneur Najla Al Midfa, now General Manager for Sheraa, previously founded Khayarat, a social enterprise that enables young Emiratis to make informed career choices. She joined the board of directors at United Arab Bank (UAB) in 2012, and now also serves as board member for non-profits Sharjah Business Women Council and Young Arab Leaders (UAE Chapter). Globally, Ms. Al Midfa is a founding member of The Women’s Corporate Directors (GCC Chapter), a fellow of The Aspen Institute’s Middle East Leadership Initiative and a member of The Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network.
Shurooq was established in 2009 by emiri decree to encourage investment in Sharjah, whilst driving the emirate’s social, cultural, environmental and economic development. The Authority was named the Top Investment Promotion Agency in Middle East in Site Selection magazine’s 2015 ‘Best to Invest’ Awards.
Source: Shurooq, media