Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival gives wings to the ideas
Two-day festival hosts 60 events geared towards fuelling the entrepreneurial journeys and mindsets of people of all ages and backgrounds
The two-day festival brought together 55 business leaders, experts, influencers, and cultural figures from around the world to lead nearly 60 activities comprising panel discussions, workshops, inspiring talks, and book signing ceremonies. — Supplied photo
The fifth annual edition of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF) witnessed a strong participation of attendees representing diverse nationalities and age groups brimming with bright ideas and conviction to shape a better world.
Held at Expo Centre Sharjah with the theme #WhereStarsCollide, the two-day festival brought together 55 business leaders, experts, influencers, and cultural figures from around the world to lead nearly 60 activities comprising panel discussions, workshops, inspiring talks, and book signing ceremonies.
The festival discussed ways to make a meaningful impact and promote positive change in the UAE's entrepreneurship sector and the region through expertise exchange, discussions, and inspiring journeys of eminent guests and speakers.
“The high level of engagement we saw for every workshop, conversation and activity showcased the commitment and drive the community has for leveraging entrepreneurship to shape a sustainable, inclusive and impact-driven society,” Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, said.
She said SEF 2021 saw changemakers from all walks of life come together to connect, grow, and innovate, once more solidifying Sharjah as a leading entrepreneurship hub that attracts and develops world-class talent.
"On behalf of Sheraa, I would like to thank all those who contributed to the success of the festival, especially our partners and the team at Sheraa who spared no effort to achieve the level of success that we have been fortunate enough to witness this year,” she said.
SEF 2021 was organised in partnership with the ICT Fund — an initiative of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and the Digital Government of the UAE, Sharjah Media City (Shams), Alef Group, and the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority.
UAE’s inspiring growth story
Lewis Howes, motivational speaker and author of The School of Greatness, hailed the inspiring story of the UAE – from a desert nation just over 50 years ago to its upward trajectory of growth spanning sectors – and said that it holds the key to the framework essential to cultivate both personal and entrepreneurial success.
“I am inspired by the vision, unity, innovation and creativity that has spurred the phenomenal growth of this country. About 50 years ago, this was all just a dream, but a few visionary leaders came together to realise this dream and committed themselves to make it happen,” said Howes.
At the session titled, ‘Chasing Greatness’, Howes, a former professional football player and popular podcast host, said: “Self-doubt is the silent killer of big dreams, and the three primary barriers to achieving greatness are the fear of failure, fear of success, and fear of judgment.”
‘Sharjah understands the value of culture’
Aida Muluneh, Ethiopian photographer and contemporary artist, said Sharjah is an incubator for creatives in the region because it is a city that has understood the value of culture and the role of culture in connecting peoples and building bridges between nations.
While speaking of creativity and cultural entrepreneurship at a discussion she said culture is embedded in the development journey of Sharjah, and this is what brings me here and connects me to this place.
“Culture teaches the world who we are; and has an impact in shifting people’s perceptions. Africa is so underrepresented and shown from a perspective that is not documented by us. Through my photography, I want to share with the world my side of the story of my country and continent,” Muluneh, who is also founder and director of the Addis Foto Fest, the first international photography festival in East Africa, said.