Fifth Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival to discuss roadmap for UAE’s start-up sector
Mita Srinivasan
10x Industry

Fifth Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival to discuss roadmap for UAE’s start-up sector

With the theme #WhenStarsCollide, Sheraa’s flagship festival line up of speakers will inspire UAE’s start-up community with discussions led by changemakers on a range of issues central to shaping the ecosystem’s future and growth over the next 50 years

As the UAE celebrates its 50th anniversary this December, the upcoming Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF 2021) is set to take a closer look at the factors influencing the country’s start-up sector growth over the next 50 years. The event will see H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, UAE Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs lead a keynote discussion titled ’50 Years of the UAE: The Progress of a Nation’, which will be moderated by the co-founder of Careem, Magnus Olsson, on November 22, the first day of SEF 2021. The two will also discuss the ever-increasing role and impact of the start-up sector on the growth of the UAE, and the importance of creating the entrepreneurs of tomorrow through adapting the education system of today.

They will be joined by over 50 voices of change – rising stars in business and culture, industry titans, creatives, young sport figures, region’s top entrepreneurs to engage and inspire 4,000 established and aspiring founders through the festival’s vibrant and diverse discussion agenda, which seeks to drive meaningful impact and foster positive change in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the UAE and the region.

The two-day event will be held under the theme, #WhenStarsCollide, and for the first time in its five-year history, the physical event will be free-to-attend for all visitors, enabling everyone in the UAE to learn from experts, forge life-changing connections and unleash their entrepreneurship potential.

Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, noted that SEF 2021 offers existing and aspiring founders in the UAE, and the region beyond, a thriving platform to connect, learn and take their ideas forward, as the world witnesses a global entrepreneurial revolution with brilliant solutions being offered by the startup community in the wake of the global health crisis.

She added, “I believe there hasn’t been a more exciting time for entrepreneurs in recent history, and a platform like SEF enables ecosystem players to coalesce ideas, intentions and efforts towards the creation of a better, more sustainable and inclusive future for all. As the theme asserts, this edition of the festival will truly symbolize a collision of stars from a gamut of key sectors like politics, finance, technology, sports, culture, literature, film, science, and more, who will share their experiences and expertise, their secrets to success, and promote Sheraa’s goals to open a window of new learning and market opportunities to entrepreneurial talents in the UAE and beyond. A well-rounded festival with a bold vision and holistic offerings, SEF 2021 id poised to fuel a new era of tech-driven, conscious entrepreneurship”.

While you can check out the line-up of speakers and the agenda yourself, here are the ones that stand out for me personally.

In addition to opening keynotes, the special changemaker session on the first day with Rashed AlNuaimi, and Manar Al Hinai, the keynote from Omar Samra and Omar Nour from Egypt on their extraordinary experience of a fight for survival during a perilous 3,000 nautical mile journey across the Atlantic and how it has taught them how to push their resolve and challenge their way of life as both entrepreneurs and adventurers is one that I think you should not miss. They are both emotive speakers.

I am also looking forward to the session with the co-CEO and co-founder of the internationally acclaimed app, Calm, Michael Acton Smith will present an on-stage masterclass demonstrating the worth of pursuing an idea no matter how outlandish it may seem.

With my interest (and perhaps everyone else’s these days) on sustainability, I am fascinated to see the session with Ali Tabrizi, the 27-year-old filmmaker who turned the spotlight on the impact of the commercial fishing industry with his documentary, Seaspiracy, and will headline the Fireside Chat sessions on the second day along with Sean Dennis, co-founder and CEO of UAE Seafood Souq and Ibrahim Zu’bi, Chief Sustainability Officer at Majid Al Futtaim-Holding.

Check out the full line up and register to attend the event at Sharjah Expo.