The new headquarter spans 650 square meters and serves as an expansive co-working space where creativity is fostered in an exuberant environment.
In the spirit of promoting youth entrepreneurship, a panel of recent start-up founders and aspiring students was brought together to share their stories of struggle and success, from the ideation stage until that of a prosperous start up. The second panel brought together the leaders of the universities, that have partnered with Sheraa, to discuss the role of education and universities in fostering the growth of entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial mindset.
The new collaborative co-working space brings together the community of entrepreneurs not only in Sharjah, but nationwide, to facilitate knowledge sharing and idea generation. Visitors will find that each corner of the hub is dedicated to a pillar in Sheraa’s vision as an entrepreneurship center. The open plan space is utilized by students and entrepreneurs alike to meet and create, with an in-house coffee shop making sure that energy levels never fall low. The seminar room provides a dedicated platform for inspirational speakers to come in and address the youth, while the coding room is where all hard skills can be learnt.
Held under the patronage of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, the event was attended by Sheikh Salim bin Abdulrahman Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Ruler's office; Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Thani, Chairman of the Sharjah Department of Statistics and Community Development (DSCD); Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan bin Khalid Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Department of Government Relations; Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Founder and Chairman of Barjeel Securities; and other senior officials.
Najla Al Midfa, General Manager of Sheraa, explains that the invigorating environment reflects Sheraa’s approach to inspiring the next wave of entrepreneurs: “Our new space harbors an energetic atmosphere, where the creativity and problem-solving skills of the youth will be harnessed to create innovative business ideas. We strongly believe that infusing a positive entrepreneurial spirit in today’s youth - through their immediate surrounding and resourceful guidance - will help identify their roles in the thriving start-up community. We are committed to ensuring that when young members walk out of this beautiful facility, they imbibe the relevant skills, wealth of mentorship and the confidence to make the world a better and stronger place.”
Sheraa’s flagship accelerator programmeme and its first cohort was also announced during the launch and will start on the October 15. Following preliminary selection rounds where 19 teams were shortlisted, the three-month long, mentorship-driven accelerator will be a hands-on, idea-to-startup journey for young entrepreneurs. The teams will be supported with business connections and benefits such as office space, free trade license, access to investors and more, that will transform unique ideas into a living business reality. Sheraa’s accelerator programme is the first in the country to be situated within a university, offering a distinct advantage for engaging young students and channeling their fresh perspective towards a tangible business proposition.
The new hub will continue to function as an incubator for promising start-ups, and house a ‘skill-development’ academy to bridge the skills gap between the university and workplace. It will also host workshops and expert talks to initiate a ripple effect of self-reflection and personal development amongst new and upcoming entrepreneurs.