At the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF) 2024, the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah) and the Sharjah Investors Services Center (SAEED) recently demonstrated a shared commitment to shaping Sharjah’s economic landscape. The event witnessed a dynamic convergence of over 200 global startups, creative minds, and change-makers during its seventh edition.
Invest in Sharjah played a central role in SEF 2024 as an Ecosystem Partner. It offered valuable insights into the UAE’s investment opportunities across various economic sectors. Moreover, the pavilion served as a hub for entrepreneurs and investors to explore and engage with Sharjah’s multifaceted business ecosystem.
Simultaneously, SAEED took part in SEF 2024 as a Community Partner. It presented a comprehensive overview of its services. Operating as a one-stop shop, SAEED streamlines transactions with government bodies and provides consultancy, guidance, and post-establishment business services. Hence, the pavilion served as an informative space for visitors to understand how SAEED contributes to facilitating business operations for investors.
A vision for growth
Themed ‘Our Shared Canvas’, the two-day event unfolded at the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP). The event focused on bolstering Sharjah’s appeal for local and foreign investments. Moreover, SEF 2024 shed light on the pivotal role entrepreneurs and businesses play in stimulating growth, fostering economic development, and attracting new sectors.
SEF 2024’s extensive lineup of startups spanned various industries, including edtech, sustainability, and proptech. It also highlighted the creative industries (AR/VR, 3D printing, digital art), light manufacturing, travel & tourism, and fintech sectors. These startups represent the forefront of transformative innovation, contributing to the evolution of these industries.
Commenting on the participation of startups, Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO of Invest in Sharjah, highlighted the critical role of entrepreneurship and startups. Thus, they play a pivotal role in shaping the future of economies and defining key sectors locally and internationally. He explained that investments from entrepreneurs and startups account for a tangible share of the country’s total inbound foreign direct investment (FDI).
The entrepreneurial journey in Sharjah
A panel discussion titled ‘The Journey of Entrepreneurship in Sharjah’ at SEF 2024 brought together key figures to explore the evolution of innovative business concepts from university students to successful ventures. Moreover, the panel underscored the vital role of government initiatives and business facilitation agencies in supporting entrepreneurs.
Saif Al Suwaidi, acting manager of SAEED, highlighted the growing importance of investor services in global investment ecosystems. These services play a critical role in saving time, lowering costs, streamlining transactions, and providing essential technical advice and consultations. Al Suwaidi also emphasized the significance of investors’ interest in Sharjah’s markets. Hence, SEF 2024 served as a platform to showcase SAEED’s capability to expedite transactions within 60 minutes.
Empowering startups and investors
The participation of Invest in Sharjah and SAEED at SEF 2024 signifies a strategic alliance committed to fostering entrepreneurship, stimulating economic growth, and positioning Sharjah as a hub for innovation. As both entities continue to empower startups and investors, Sharjah is poised to paint a vibrant future on its shared canvas of economic prosperity and sustainability.
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