(MENAFN- Emirates News Agency (WAM)) SHARJAH, 17th November, 2021 (WAM) -- The Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival – organised annually by the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), has emerged as a game-changing catalyst in shaping the entrepreneurial mindset of the next generation of changemakers in the region.
Since 2017, the vibrant, holistic programming of SEF has inspired a community of 13,000 innovators, and boosted the confidence of 94 percent of the festival's attendees who said they were ready to embark on their entrepreneurial journeys. More than 200 startups and 300 local and international speakers - representing the brightest minds across a multitude of sectors - have enabled young innovators in the region to forge life-changing connections and gain valuable insights to unleash their entrepreneurship potential.
Through the successful incubation of innovative, tech-driven ideas, Sheraa has continually realised its vision of creating wave after wave of talented entrepreneurs in the Arab nation. The entity's strategic efforts in empowering young changemakers with the skills and resources to transform disruptive ideas into impactful entrepreneurship reaped tremendous results. By leveraging Sharjah's position as a leading hub for education, Sheraa is also heading the emirate's efforts to build a world class entrepreneurial ecosystem that produces globally competitive, fast-growing companies in sectors that serve as engines for socio-economic development.
Sheraa's commitment to empowering entrepreneurs and driving innovation has led to the nurturing of a supportive ecosystem through events such the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF). Over the years, SEF has not only facilitated agile and innovative learning but also enabled founders to connect and gain access to new resources and markets.
For five years now, SEF has convened leading innovators, thought leaders and globally renowned experts to share cutting-edge ideas, enlighten and inspire young changemakers, and educate, lead and guide them to build a better future for both economy and society.
Today, Sheraa's annual flagship festival is the UAE's largest gathering of entrepreneurs, innovators and changemakers. Its packed agenda of inspiring keynotes, knowledge-sharing panels, thought-provoking discussions, and interactive workshops have provided a platform for regional and global success stories and are inspiring youth to envision themselves as future leaders of impactful change.
In 2017, SEF brought the #HustleModeOn as it sought to recharge the entrepreneurial spirit in Sharjah Sharjah by bringing together the changemakers of the world. The following year, SEF emerged as the platform for the source of all great ideas, and attendees had one mission: #DareToBeDifferent.
In 2019, SEF looked inward, #InspiringChangemakers to find their innermost motivations and greatest sources of inspiration to achieve peak performance and elevate their entrepreneurial experience.
SEF witnessed transformational in 2020 when it pivoted to a fully virtual event to safeguard participants and visitors from Covid-19. Business leaders hailed social entrepreneurship approaches discussed at the festival, and the likes of Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Laureate 2006 and Founder, Grameen Bank; and primatologist, Jane Goodall, underlined what it takes to make meaningful impact.
The fifth edition of SEF, scheduled to be held from November 22-23 at Expo Centre Sharjah under the theme 'When Stars Collide', will deliver real value for more than 4,000 young entrepreneurs and future founders in the region to enable them to tap into their full potential.
For the first time in its five-year history, the physical two-day event will be free-to-attend for all visitors as Sheraa provides inclusive, equitable access to its full range of inspiring programming. In addition, 10 shortlisted finalists of Sheraa's Access Sharjah Challenge will use the platform of SEF 2021 to pitch their ideas and innovative solutions in the Cultural and Creative Industries to a select jury panel.
In an exclusive statement to Emirates News Agency (WAM), Najla Al Midfa, CEO, Sheraa, said, "Through SEF, we seek to cultivate a fresh and innovative way of thinking among founders and transform Sharjah into a thriving hub of changemakers. The stories of resilience, impact and agility will provide the spark of inspiration and empowerment for our youth to drive meaningful impact in the region's entrepreneurial landscape."
The Sheraa CEO added, "SEF is a platform for UAE founders to seek solutions for new challenges and initiate conversations amongst innovators across the region that eventually brings the community together to empower one another."
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