Start-up companies in the UAE venturing into the world of publishing and digital content creation received a boost this week with the launch of Access Sharjah, a programme to support innovation in the sector.
Access Sharjah, which is due to launch in March 2020, will help to connect start-ups with potential clients and stakeholders within Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPC Free Zone) and the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA). There will also be a programme of workshops and training sessions, as well as free office space for new businesses.
Added to this, a fund of $100,000 (Dh367,000) has been set aside for the best-performing start-up.
Access Sharjah is the result of a memorandum of understanding signed at the Sharjah International Book Fair by the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre with SPC Free Zone and EPA, as part of the celebration of Sharjah World Book Capital 2019.
“We are keen on extending a helping hand to entrepreneurs from around the world to establish their business in Sharjah, and lead the way into a prosperous future in the publishing and digital content sectors,” said Najla Al Midfa, CEO of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre. “The programme is in line with the year-long celebrations of Sharjah World Book Capital 2019 title, and seeks to promote the emirate’s vision to support the advancement of the publishing sector and facilitate knowledge exchange.
“The world today is transforming to knowledge-based societies, which require the continuous development of a comprehensive ecosystem that places human capital as a top priority. This requires innovative and creative content, one of the goals of Access Sharjah.
“The programme is based on the long-term strategic development vision of Sharjah to boost its human capital, build a strong knowledge base and create opportunities in the emirate for start-ups from all over the world.”
Since it was launched in 2016, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre start-ups have generated more than $19 million (Dh69.7 million) in revenue.