Sharjah identified as high-potential startup ecosystem in MENA by GSER

By Arya M Nair, Intern Reporter
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Sharjah has been recognized as a high-growth entrepreneurial ecosystem by the 2021 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER), ranking seventh in the top 10 MENA startup ecosystems under the ‘Performance’ category.

The report was published by Start-up Genome, a global policy advisory and research organization for governments and public-private partnerships, in collaboration with Sheraa, the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center. It highlights the high-growth potential of the UAE’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and Sharjah’s leading role in developing talent and innovation in the start-up arena.

The GSER 2021 has named Sharjah among the top 10 MENA Ecosystem in ‘Performance’ by determining the size and performance of an ecosystem based on the accumulated tech start-up value created from exits and funding, and the top 10 MENA Ecosystem in ‘Talent & Experience’ based on the ability to identify and retain talent in the ecosystem.

The Sheraa has played a key role in redefining the emirate’s startup landscape while also enriching new opportunities for the region. Over the past five years, Sheraa has backed 114 startups from diverse sectors including digital media, edtech, healthtech, femtech, generating $130 million in revenue, and raising $87 million in the capital.

Najla Al Midfa
Najla Al Midfa
CEO-Sheraa

“Sharjah has been strategically pushing forward towards creating a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem and is being recognized by global authorities like the Start-up Genome and Global Entrepreneurship Network. The emirate has always been at the forefront of innovation be that as a trade hub, the region’s center of art and cultural activities, and now as an inspiring entrepreneurial destination. Government support through business-friendly policies, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and availability of top-tier talent has elevated Sharjah’s position on the start-up world map.” 

Sheraa has also launched the Sharjah Start-up Studio (S3), a government-backed startup studio, to support early-stage impact entrepreneurs with funding, mentorship, and logistical assistance to set up businesses in the emirate.

Sharjah has been the launchpad for numerous high-potential start-ups from the region and beyond, empowering a community of mission-driven founders by turning their disruptive ideas into impactful businesses. Ms. Al Midfa further stated that Sheraa will continue its drive to identify and incubate innovative and creative start-ups solving some of the world’s greatest challenges through entrepreneurial initiatives while diversifying Sharjah and the UAE’s economy.

Additionally, free zones such as Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP), Sharjah Media City (Shams), and best educational institutes are promoting the entrepreneurial ecosystem by attracting regional and global talent.

Related: Khalifa Fund unveils ‘Level Up’ project to elevate SMEs & Startups in Abu Dhabi


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