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“Invest in Sharjah” and “SAEED” Highlight the Emirate’s Entrepreneurial and Investment Ecosystem at SEF 2024

The Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), and Sharjah Investors Services Center (SAEED) participated at the seventh edition of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF 2024) between February 3-4, which convenes over 200 startups, creative minds, and change-makers from across the globe.

The two-day event themed “Our Shared Canvas” which takes place at the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) aligns with Invest in Sharjah’s vision to bolster the emirate’s appeal for local and foreign investments, where entrepreneurs and SMEs plays a pivotal role in stimulating growth, development, economic activity, localising technology, and talents, and attracting new sectors.

“Invest in Sharjah” participated as an Ecosystem Partner in a dedicated pavilion offering insights into the emirate’s investment opportunities in various economic sectors. While “SAEED” participated in a dedicated pavilion as a Community Partner, providing visitors with a holistic overview of its services, which provides a one-stop-shop to streamline transactions with government bodies, in addition to consultancy, guidance, and post-establishment business services available to investors.

 

The Impact of Entrepreneurship on Investment Landscape

Commenting on the participation, His Excellency Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO of Invest in Sharjah, emphasised the critical role of entrepreneurship and startups in shaping the future of economies and defining key sectors locally and internationally. He noted that investments from entrepreneurs and emerging businesses account for a substantial share of the country’s total inbound FDI.

Al Musharrkh said: “There is a synergy and coherence between the visions and activities of various economic entities in Sharjah, especially between Invest in Sharjah and SEF. This coherence is demonstrated in both entities’ efforts to improve the economic and investment climate, support entrepreneurs, and facilitate the establishment of companies in a manner that supports the emirate’s comprehensive development vision. Moreover, our efforts include attracting talent and adopting modern technologies to aid the emirate’s transition towards a diverse and modern economy.”

 

The Journey of Entrepreneurship in Sharjah

Invest in Sharjah took part in a panel discussion titled “The Journey of Entrepreneurship in Sharjah” that brought together panellists including Marwan Alichla, Director of Investment Promotion and Support at Invest in Sharjah; Saif Al Suwaidi, Acting Manager of Sharjah Investor Services Center (SAEED); Aisha Saleh President of The Youth Council at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Lamya Alserkal, Youth Team Representative at Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa); and Khawla Alzarooni, SOI Lab Lead at SRTIP, with moderator Aisha Al Ali from Sharjah Youth Council.

Panellists explored the path of entrepreneurship, beginning with university students’ innovative and creative business concepts, leading to their realisation as successful ventures in both the emirates and global markets. The discussion underscored the importance of government initiatives and business facilitation agencies in backing entrepreneurs, contributing to a sustained positive effect on the overall economic framework.

Strengthening competitiveness

For his part, Marwan Saleh Alichla, Director of Investment Promotion and Support, Invest in Sharjah, said: “Our participation in SEF offered us a valuable opportunity to engage with experts and specialists who have been instrumental in establishing a business ecosystem and enhancing the competitive environment for startups. We shared our strategy for backing entrepreneurs and facilitate their expansion in Sharjah.”

Commenting on the session, he said: “We emphasised to entrepreneurs the crucial role that Invest in Sharjah plays through its strategic partnerships with investors by providing services post-launch and facilitating startups’ access to potential investors. We also highlighted our commitment to developing a supportive ecosystem for entrepreneurs.”

Appealing services

On Sharjah Investors Services Center (SAEED) participation in SEF, which attracts entrepreneurs and investors from across the globe, Saif Al Suwaidi, Acting Manager of “SAEED”, emphasised that investor services have become a crucial component of global investment ecosystems. Their value lies in their ability to save time, lower costs, streamline transactions and offer vital technical advice and consultations.

Reflecting on the keen interest in the centre’s offerings during SEF, Al Suwaidi said: “It is a clear indicator of investors’ interest in Sharjah’s markets and the attractive opportunities within its economic sectors. The significant turnout of entrepreneurs, businesses, and investors at SEF provides a deeper understanding of investor requirements and future trends. Moreover, participating in the sessions provided us with a unique opportunity to showcase our comprehensive portfolio of 65 services and our capability to expedite transactions within 60 minutes.”

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