The delegation with Najla Al Midfa and Hussein Al Mahmoudi.
A delegation of successful business owners, corporate leaders and serial entrepreneurs hailing from five different continents who have form the current cohort of the prestigious Executive MBA programme (EMBA) at Said Business School, University of Oxford, met with Najla Al Midfa, the CEO of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship centre (Sheraa); and Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP), at the Sheraa HQ in SRTIP to explore ways in which the emirate can serve as the gateway for them join the region’s fastest-growing hub for SMEs, innovation and research - the UAE.
During the recent visit, the delegation heard about Sheraa’s mandate of cultivating successive generations of changemakers by offering members access to a strong, vibrant and globally-connected ecosystem of founders.
The visiting graduates, whose specialisations span diverse sectors of technology, education, retail, logistics, advisory and consulting, finance and investment banking, oil & gas, sustainable & regenerative development, among others also gained in-depth insights about the UAE government’s special focus on supporting and SMEs, as they are considered critical for economic diversification, employment and expansion.
SMEs represent 94 per cent of the companies and institutions operating in the country and contribute more than 50 per cent to the country’s GDP.
Welcoming the delegation to Sharjah, Najla Al Midfa, the CEO of Sheraa, spoke about the myriad opportunities and wide array of resources future innovators will have access to in the emirate to flourish.
Al Midfa further noted, “The UAE’s appeal as a global commercial hub has developed leaps and bounds in the past few years. What has helped this drive is the successful creation of legal and programmatic frameworks that constantly adapt to, match or exceed the highest international standards, to meet the needs of the entrepreneurship community.
“For instance, Sheraa’s Access Sharjah Challenge, specifically tailored for startups looking to make a real impact in the sustainable industry; our six-month S3 Incubator programme to serve the needs of upcoming startups from ideation through to inception; or the UAE Ministry of Economy’s Entrepreneurial Nation 2.0 initiative to develop more than 8,000 small and medium enterprises and start-ups by 2030 - all these efforts are geared towards reinforcing the unparalleled contributions of the sector to the national economy.”
The UAE also earned top ranking in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitoring 2022 report, outperforming competitor nations around the world. This a testament to the country’s globally competitive startup ecosystem and commercial hub positioning, Al Midfa concluded.