Sharjah's Sheraa launches programme to mentor young entrepreneurs in UAE

Six-week initiative is for students currently at university or who have graduated within the past year

Sheraa is Sharjah’s initiative to build a start-up ecosystem in the emirate. Satish Kumar / The National
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The Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa) on Thursday announced a new start-up incubator programme to boost young entrepreneurs in the UAE.

The initiative aims to mentor university students and fresh graduates in the UAE to help them “transform their impactful ideas into businesses”.

The six-week programme, ‘Startup Dojo – Summer 2022 Incubator’, will run from July 18 to August 25, Sheraa said.

It will be an “intensive, experiential learning opportunity” that aims to empower young graduates and students to build businesses, it said.

For six weeks, participants will work in a hybrid setting with Sheraa’s team of innovators, mentors and entrepreneurs to develop and market their business ideas and apply them to real-world challenges.

Sheraa, which means “to sail” in Arabic, is Sharjah’s initiative to build a start-up ecosystem in the emirate.

Gulf countries are investing in growing an entrepreneurship ecosystem as they look to diversify their economies and fuel post-pandemic growth.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, regional start-ups keep booming as they attract financing to support their operations.

Total financing from venture capital funds in the Middle East surged 132 per cent to almost $2 billion last year, with the total number of deals up 5 per cent to 410, according to data platform Magnitt.

Sheraa’s new initiative will focus on various areas such as team building, market sizing, product development, marketing, business modelling, storytelling and pitching.

During the last week of the programme, the top three teams with winning ideas will be awarded cash prizes.

Registration is open for students who are currently enrolled in a university or have graduated within the past year. They should have a business idea designed to tackle various challenges using technology.

Each team must have at least two members and commit to attending the hybrid programme for its entire duration.

Updated: June 02, 2022, 4:08 PM