Sheraa Sets the Stage for Global Experts and Influential Changemakers at 4th Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival
• Bodour Al Qasimi: There is a need now more than ever to develop a new entrepreneurial culture that harnesses socially driven ideas to create high-impact, scalable solutions
• The 5-day virtual festival has been made free-to-attend for all as a show of solidarity amid Covid-19
Sharjah, November 25, 2020: Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) is bringing together globally-renowned experts, entrepreneurs, ecosystem leaders and influential changemakers for the 4th annual edition of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF), which goes fully online this year to enlighten and inspire young changemakers passionate about solving challenges and leaving their mark as the world rebuilds post-Covid societies and economies.
For the first time in its history, Sheraa’s annual flagship festival will be free to attend, and accessible to anyone from anywhere across the globe. The free festival benefits from Sheraa’s $1 Million Solidarity Fund announced earlier this year to support startups in the UAE and wider MENA region cope with the implications of COVID-19.
Under the theme of #BeTheHero, the region’s leading annual entrepreneurship festival features a packed agenda of inspiring keynotes, knowledge-sharing panels, and interactive workshops, to enable attendees to discover and unleash their full potential.
Eminent speakers who have confirmed their presence at SEF 2020 include Dr. Jane Goodall, Primatologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace, Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Bangladeshi social entrepreneur; Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen, a non-profit global venture capital fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to address global poverty, and Anousheh Ansari, the world’s 1st female private space explorer and Chief Executive Officer of the XPrize Foundation.
This year’s SEF also brings UK-based organization The School of Life to the region for the first time. The School of Life is dedicated to helping people lead more resilient and fulfilled lives with practical workshops. One Young World, a UK-based not-for-profit organization that gathers young leaders from around the world to develop solutions to the globe’s most pressing issues, will also be joining this year’s agenda by bringing their most inspiring ambassadors to the virtual stage. The festival will also see the return of Mindvalley, the world’s leading personal growth platform, curating a day of world-renowned impactful speakers focused on personal development and life-long learning.
SEF will also showcase the winners of the UCAN Startup Awards, launched earlier this year by the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center in partnership with the Ubuntu Love Challenge to support tech-enabled startups that are accelerating the development of unique healthtech and foodtech solutions.
With #BeTheHero, SEF seeks to motivate and inspire more socially conscious entrepreneurs to reimagine the future by celebrating the changemakers that have stepped up in our time of need, reminding us of our human interconnectedness and shared destinies.
Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa), emphasised that the 4th edition of SEF was poised to catalyse the critical role entrepreneurship and SMEs have in driving economic recovery and national development.
She pointed out that now more than ever there is a need to develop a new entrepreneurial culture that harnesses socially driven ideas to create high-impact, scalable solutions that are in keeping with the global trend towards developing sustainable, knowledge-based economies.
Urging entrepreneurs, founders, startups and SMEs to make the most of the opportunities on offer at SEF 2020, the Sheraa Chairperson advised them to learn from the experiences of business leaders and changemakers who will be sharing their stories of how they have navigated challenging times to achieve qualitative success.
Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, emphasised that SEF 2020 will be a true celebration of #BeTheHero. “At Sheraa, we have always believed that people have the power to change the world through entrepreneurship. This is apparent now more than ever, as changemakers across the globe lead the charge towards building more resilient communities and stronger, more prosperous economies. This shared sense of purpose and responsibility is what we want to highlight at SEF 2020, showcasing the everyday heroes from across the globe who are making a real impact.”
Al Midfa added: “Adapting to a unique virtual format spread over five days is a testament to Sheraa’s increasingly global focus. We want to ensure that everyone, no matter who or where they are, has access to the inspiration and resources they need to become changemakers in their own right. That is the ultimate goal of this year’s festival: to show that anyone can #BeTheHero.” she concluded.
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