Entrepreneurs need to focus on what they are passionate about: Sheraa CEO
It is important to come up with a personal mission that also impacts the world, says Najla Al Midfa.
Becoming an entrepreneur means setting yourself up for a difficult journey, which is why it is important for entrepreneurs to have an idea that they are passionate about, said Najla Al Midfa, CEO of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa).
Speaking at a press conference to announce the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF 2019), she highlighted how the ecosystem for entrepreneurs had slowly evolved, especially in the wake of the region's first unicorns.
"In 2010, when we were talking about entrepreneurship, people barely even knew the word," she said. "Fast forward to 2019, and the region has witnessed its very first unicorns such as Careem and Souq. It is clear that a lot has changed in the ecosystem, but we have only scratched the surface. We have seen that there has been a lot more interest in entrepreneurship since the two major acquisitions. However, what this does is that people tell themselves that they can create their own unicorn by reverse engineering the Careem and Souq success stories and looking for a problem in the market that they can solve, rather than doing what they are passionate about."
She added: "This is what SEF does differently: rather than say that we are here to create unicorns, we want to help entrepreneurs with what it is that they are passionate about. It is important to come up with a personal mission that also impacts the world. We know that entrepreneurs need a support system and we are here to help them feel like they are part of a community."
Now in its third year, SEF 2019 will be organised by Sheraa and will be taking place on November 25-26, 2019 at the Expo Center Sharjah. The speaker line-up at the event will be headlined by Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, founder and CEO of Alliances for Global Sustainability and founder of Circle of Hope Foundation; Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, founder and chairman of KBW Ventures; Grammy award-winning artist and entrepreneur, Akon; and Jonas Kjellberg, co-creator of Skype.
The underlining theme for this year is to guide attendees on their inner quest, leading them to find their motivations and greatest sources of inspiration in order to achieve peak performance and elevate the entrepreneurial experience. For the first time ever, Sheraa will also be bringing 'Mindvalley Live' to the emirate of Sharjah. Attendees will get the opportunity to participate in an immersive experience that will accelerate personal growth, overcome limitations, and shift their mindset towards success. Mindvalley is an international educational company focused on personal development and lifelong learning.
Making a comeback this year, Startup Town will showcase 100 innovative startups from around the region, along with a chance to win Dh100,000 via a pitch competition. Private meet and greets, and book signings with the award-winning authors have also been scheduled. This year SEF is being held with the support of its strategic partners Emaar, Sharjah Media City (Shams) and Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.