Sharjah’s leadership in nurturing innovation endorsed with top GSER 2021 ranking
Edtech and digital media focused startups are leading the way in terms of density of talent, support resources, and startup activity
Sharjah has been recognised by the 2021 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) as a high-growth entrepreneurial ecosystem, ranking seventh in the top 10 MENA startup ecosystems under the ‘Performance’ category.
The report was published by Startup Genome, a global policy advisory and research organisation for governments and public-private partnerships, in partnership with Sheraa. It illustrates the high-growth potential of the UAE’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, and Sharjah’s leading role in nurturing talent and innovation in the startup space.
In recognition of its advancements in becoming a founder-friendly startup city, the GSER 2021 has named Sharjah among the top 10 MENA ecosystem in the ‘Performance’ category determined by the size and performance of an ecosystem based on the accumulated tech startup value created from exits and funding; and in the ‘Talent & Experience’ category based on the ability to identify and retain talent in the ecosystem.
At the forefront of Sharjah’s ambitious plans to nurture and empower new generations of talented founders, the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) has played a pivotal role in redefining the emirate’s startup landscape while enriching entrepreneurial opportunities for the region too. Over the past five years, Sheraa has supported 114 startups from diverse sectors such as digital media, edtech, healthtech, femtech to name a few, generating $130 million in revenue, and raising $87 million in capital.
Commenting on Sharjah’s position as a leading regional hub for startups, Sheraa CEO Najla Al Midfa said: “Sharjah has been strategically pushing forward towards creating a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem and is being recognised by global authorities like the Startup Genome and Global Entrepreneurship Network. The emirate has always been at the forefront of innovation – be that as a trade hub, the region’s centre of art and cultural activities, and now as an inspiring entrepreneurial destination. Government support through business-friendly policies, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and availability of top-tier talent have elevated Sharjah’s position on the startup world map.”
“Sharjah has been the launchpad for numerous high-potential startups from the region and beyond, empowering a community of mission-driven founders by turning their disruptive ideas into impactful businesses. We will continue our drive to identify and incubate innovative and creative startups solving some of the world’s greatest challenges through entrepreneurial endeavours, whilst diversifying Sharjah and the UAE’s economy,” she added.
Further, as a first-of-its-kind initiative, Sheraa has launched the Sharjah Startup Studio (S3), a government-backed startup studio, to support early-stage impact entrepreneurs with funding, mentorship, and logistical assistance to set up businesses in the emirate.
Moreover, free zones such as Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP); Sharjah Media City (Shams); and top-notch educational institutes are boosting the entrepreneurial ecosystem by attracting regional and global talent.
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