Sharjah ranks among world’s high-growth start-up ecosystems, report says

Dubai ranked 18th in the world's top 100 emerging start-up ecosystems

Sharjah has ranked the top in high growth activation phase ecosystems in the newly launched Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER). 
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The UAE's northern emirate of Sharjah was ranked at the top spot in a list of high-growth activation phase start-up ecosystems globally, according to a new report.

According to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report, launched by policy advisory and research organisation Startup Genome, an activation phase ecosystem is characterised as having 1,000 or fewer start-ups.

The report says an activation phase ecosystem's objective is to pick start-up subsectors "that build on local economic strengths and develop focused programmes to accelerate ecosystem growth and develop pockets of success leading to sizeable exits".

Sharjah also ranked among the top 20 in Africa and the Middle East for “Bang for Buck” and among the top 30 in the region for having affordable talent.

"We look forward to further advancing Sharjah's reputation as a vibrant start-up hub - one that is home to high-impact ventures that contribute to our communities and the growth of our economy," Najla Al Midfa, chief executive of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa), said.

Dubai ranked 18th in the world's top 100 emerging start-up ecosystems, according to the report.

The global start-up economy remains large, creating nearly $3 trillion (Dh11tn)  in value, a figure on par with the gross domestic product of a G7 economy, according to Startup Genome.

The Covid-19 pandemic poses several challenges to global start-ups, including rampant layoffs and the "double whammy" of a drop in consumer demand coupled with waning venture capital investments, leading to a capital crunch.

"While we see early signs of a rebound in Asian ecosystems — nothing like a return to normal, but a slowdown of the drop — the start-up economy is going through a major transition," Startup Genome said.

Globally, the report ranked Silicon Valley as the world's top global start-up ecosystem in 2020, followed by New York in a tie with London, while Beijing and Boston rounded up the top five.