All eyes on Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival, opens today - GulfToday

All eyes on Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival, opens today


Photo used for illustrative purposes.

The countdown is over with the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF) 2024 set to open on Saturday, promising a comprehensive convergence of ideas, innovation, and entrepreneurial excellence.

Poised to welcome more than 5,000 enthusiastic and knowledge-seeking visitors, ready to be inspired by well over 200 of the world’s greatest entrepreneurial masterminds, attendees will gain access to the key strategies necessary to elevate their entrepreneurial aspirations to unprecedented levels of success.

During the next two days (3rd-4th February), at the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP), the emirate, the nation, and the world, are set to gather for the largest entrepreneurship festival in the region under the captivating theme “Our Shared Canvas.”

Through 9 specially curated mini-ecosystems and engaging stages, the festival is ready to feature hundreds of impactful activities that include 50+ engaging talks and discussions; 30+ upskilling workshops; empowering pitch competitions and awards featuring 100+ startups; 15+ world-class performances; diverse retail stalls and F&B booths; relaxing areas to connect and network; as well as dedicated ‘Investor Lounge’ to facilitate investor-investee collaboration and partnerships.

This diverse festival agenda, under the pillars of ‘impact’, ‘founders’, ‘community’, and ‘creativity’, will cover a multitude of industries and sectors, guaranteeing that there will be invaluable opportunities and growth for all that attend. As an immersive hub for innovation, SEF 2024 brings together visionary founders, industry leaders, investors, government entities, and emerging entrepreneurs, in key sectors such as Technology, Education, Sustainability, Real Estate, Art and Culture, Entertainment, F&B, Fashion, Social Impact, Healthcare and Wellness, Transportation, Marketing and Advertising, and many other influential industries.

Building upon the success of previous editions, SEF 2024 is showcasing an impressive lineup of distinguished experts leading talks and workshops. Renowned business leaders will share the knowledge and skills needed to transform entrepreneurial aspirations into thriving realities.

HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar Al Saud, serving as the President of the International Esports Federation (IESF), brings his visionary leadership to the festival, reflecting the evolving landscape of esports and the role he has played in this rapidly growing industry.

World-renowned real estate magnate and founder of EMAAR Properties, Mohammed Al Abbar, will join the stage to share his wealth of experience, and engage directly with the audience by answering their questions, offering invaluable insights for aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to establish impactful business empires.

To the delight of football fans within the region, Andres Iniesta; former Barcelona FC midfielder and Spain’s most decorated footballer of all time; will bring his insights into the entrepreneurial world at SEF 2024. Beyond his football career, Iniesta has ventured into business, establishing a number of brands, and showcasing his multifaceted approach to success. His presence will undoubtedly resonate with aspiring entrepreneurs and sports fans alike, offering a unique perspective on translating dedication from sports to business.

British entrepreneur Steven Bartlett, the innovative mind behind the ‘Diary of a CEO’ podcast, investor on BBC’s Dragon Den, and CEO and founder of ‘Social Chain,’ will provide invaluable knowledge and experience through engaging talks, while Chris Barton, the visionary creator of Shazam, will inspire attendees with his journey of success and entrepreneurial prowess.

Additionally, SEF 2024 will welcome globally acclaimed director and filmmaker, Nadine Labaki, adding a touch of cinematic brilliance to the proceedings; Sheikh Sultan Saoud Al Qasimi, Hassan “Aboflah” Suleiman, a hugely influential content creator; Jessica Kahawaty, a world-famous human rights advocate and entrepreneur; as well as Joe Hattab, a celebrated travel content creator. Furthermore, the event will host a captivating concert filled with nostalgia and childhood memories from ‘Spacetoon,’ consisting of five talented members of the Al Tourgane family.

This is just a sample of the diverse array of luminaries set to make SEF 2024 an unparalleled experience of inspiration, enterprising excellence, and innovation.

SEF 2024 truly demonstrates the power of collaboration and what can be achieved when entities come together for a common cause, through a comprehensive list of strategic and valued partners, each playing an important part in supporting and nurturing entrepreneurship.

As the Venue Partner, The Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) will provide an innovative space for inspiration and collaboration during the festival. ARADA, a champion of sustainable progress, returns as the Impact Partner, reinforcing SEF’s commitment to effective and influential content. EMAAR as the ‘Startup Town’ Partner, emphasises its commitment to supporting emerging businesses and will feature a strong focus on tech. DU will feature as the Official Telecom Partner. ALEF Group, Invest Bank, and Sharjah City Municipality collectively contribute as Enable Partners, amplifying the spirit of entrepreneurship.

Al Marwan Group, Microsoft UAE, National Paints Factories, Sharjah Business Women’s Council (SBWC), Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB), Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), and Sharjah Media City (SHAMS), all join SEF as Empower Partners, elevating the entrepreneurship ecosystem to new heights. BEEAH Group and Sharjah Sustainable City lead the change as Sustainability Partners, underscoring the festival’s commitment to eco-conscious practices.

A diverse array of organisations, including Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation, Air Arabia, CE Ventures, Emirates Development Bank (EDB), Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), Sharjah Asset Management, Sharjah Airport Authority, Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD), Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sharjah Retail, and Sharjah RTA, collaboratively act as Ecosystem Partners. Their collective impact strengthens the Festival’s role as a hub for entrepreneurial collaboration and growth.

While the Sharjah SME - Ruwad, Tijarah 101 Centre, Sharjah Investors Services Centre - Saeed, and Sharjah Investment and Development Authority - Shurooq, play integral roles as Community Partners, fostering collaboration and community engagement. Their involvement reflects a commitment to building a strong network of support for local and regional entrepreneurs. Joining SEF as Strategic Media Partners will be Sharjah Broadcasting Authority and National Network Communication (NNC).

Together, these many important and supportive partners enhance the vibrant ecosystem at SEF 2024, where innovation, collaboration and knowledge-sharing are imparted to all that attend the festival.



Related articles