Sheraa’s SEF eyes solutions for pandemic driven challenges

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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UAE’s one of the fastest-growing events that celebrate entrepreneurs, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival’s (SEF) fourth edition will kick start on 6th December virtually, aimed to address the COVID-19 driven challenges in the business sector.

The event organized by Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), as part of its Solidarity Fund will be held under the theme of #BeTheHero as the world is working to recover societies and economies from the pandemic hit.

With SEF, Sheraa aims to support people by tapping into new reserves of energy and to bring up more socially-conscious entrepreneurs to create an impact on their communities and build a better future together.

The five-days annual flagship event of Sheraa includes ten knowledge-sharing panel discussions, five interactive workshops and nine keynote sessions. The event targeting a global audience of young changemakers, ecosystem leaders and entrepreneurs will be free to attend.

Najla Al Midfa
Najla Al Midfa
CEO – Sheraa

“Sheraa believes that people have the power to change the world through entrepreneurship. This is apparent now more than ever, as change-makers across the globe lead the charge towards building more resilient communities and more prosperous economies. This shared sense of purpose and responsibility will be highlighted at SEF.”

The internationally renowned line-up of speakers in the SEF includes Dr. Jane Goodall (UN messenger of peace), Muhammad Yunus (2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Bangladeshi social entrepreneur), Jacqueline Novogratz (founder and CEO of non-profit global venture capital fund Acumen) and Anousheh Ansari (the world’s first female private space explorer).

In January, Sharjah was rated among the world’s top 10 fastest-growing urban areas by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The emirate has focused on attracting foreign investment across different sectors with an aim to reduce the government’s oil revenue dependency.


Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) is an initiative focused to create a start-up ecosystem in the emirate. It is headquartered at the American University of Sharjah and its hub, launched in September 2018, is based at the University of Sharjah.

The center has helped founders scale their businesses through workshops, mentorships, introductions to investors, government partners and corporate entities to help them secure access to growth capital. Earlier this year Sheraa announced a $ 1 million Solidarity Fund to support startups to cope with the impacts of pandemic and to thrive in a post-COVID era.