SEC, Sheraa unleash entrepreneurial potential in UAE teenagers

August 23, 2022 / 3:24 PM
Sharjah24: The Sharjah Education Council (SEC) and Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) graduated on Monday the first cohort of their Young Explorers Summer Camp Programme, which created a unique opportunity for around 50 students in the 16-18-year age group to explore innovative frameworks and practical approaches to building startups.
The three-week bootcamp offered extensive expert-led training with real-world examples and applications designed to help students adopt agility and experimentation as a solution-based approach to solving complex challenges.

The programme culminated with a demo day, where, based on their learnings, each participant presented an innovative entrepreneurial solution to an expert jury of market leaders and changemakers. Three winning projects were announced on graduation day. 

A new generation of UAE’s socially conscious entrepreneurs in the making
The winning project, Chitinize, turns the spotlight on Chitin, the second-most abundant natural polymer found in the shells of crustaceans, which can be used as a sustainable and biodegradable alternative for the production of utensils, food packaging, medical equipment, etc., replacing polluting plastics.

The competition’s runners-up, project Thamara, demonstrates how food waste can be transformed into organic fertilisers, and used by farmers instead of harmful fertilisers for growing their crops. The project also seeks to raise awareness of the youth on the importance of boycotting excessive consumption behaviours and food waste.  

The second runners-up, Cloud's organic farm, is a solar-powered farm that employs artificial intelligence (AI) for irrigation and harvesting. It seeks to be an ecotourism destination to highlight the importance of preserving natural resources by promoting sustainable practices.

Through a blend of workshops, one-to-one mentoring, and peer-to-peer guidance, the programme enhanced the understanding of business fundamentals. It offered business modelling insights to equip participants with effective ways to develop business strategy and forecasting revenues, costs, and overheads to ensure the project's success and secure investments.

The young students were also taught the fundamentals of storytelling, the right frameworks for building pitch decks, and the art of pitching their solutions to the target audience and investors.

Commenting on the event, Dr.Saeed Musabeh AlKaabi - Member of Sharjah Executive Council, Chairman of Sharjah Education Council, said: “Continuing on our mission to provide students with career-oriented education in line with Sharjah’s overarching strategy for sustainable development, we welcomed this partnership with Sheraa. At the end of the three-week bootcamp, we are extremely pleased with the outcomes as we witness how much the young students have benefitted from not just learning in the classroom but also applying their knowledge practically in a variety of innovative entrepreneurial projects”.

“The participants of the Young Explorers Summer Camp Programme have given us extremely positive feedback, which encourages us to explore future partnerships with Sheraa. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the three winners and wish them and all participants success,” he added.

For her party, Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, said: “Sheraa's role is not limited to supporting entrepreneurs and startups, but it also extends to establishing strategic partnerships with entities like the Sharjah Education Council who are shaping the future of our youth, and ultimately, of the nation. Equipping younger generations with practical knowledge on best practices in entrepreneurship empowers them to create solutions for some of the world’s biggest problems.”

She added: “This intensive 3-week programme has laid a solid foundation to unlock the potential of these young changemakers and I look forward to seeing their ideas come to life.”
August 23, 2022 / 3:24 PM

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