SEF 2022
The opening ceremony also saw the presence of Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, Head of the Department of Government Relations, Sheikh Saud bin Sultan Al Qasimi, the Director of Sharjah Digital Office, Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy, Bodour Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) and Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, in addition to various UAE government and private institutions. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: The 6th edition of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF) kicked off on Saturday. The theme of this year’s extravaganza, “Where We Belong” will feature a range of talks, activities, and workshops from the world’s most prominent business leaders catering to all entrepreneurs, creators and changemakers.

Through the 2-day extravaganza, visitors will have a unique opportunity to attend more than 30 interactive workshops that will shine light on various topics, including best international practices, secrets of successful investments, and a myriad of discussions and inspiring speeches by creatives, entrepreneurs, and experts.

New opportunities for innovation

“I can say for certain that every moment we have on earth is an opportunity to innovate and create something amazing that brings meaning to our lives and follow our ambitions to be part of the change,” said Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa. “SEF wants to assert this through amazing sessions that shine light on diverse and inspiring journeys that will serve as a source of inspiration to us all.”

sef 2022
Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa during her speech.

Mo Gawdat, Author of Solve for Happy, led the inaugural SEF session. He said, “Happiness is inside you and not exactly related to the external events that occur in life. We constantly replay our experiences, which is what leads to the burst of emotions. Often, it is the meeting or missing of expectations that stirs inside us,” he said.

He added, “unhappiness is a fire alarm that needs to be addressed”. “It’s really simple. When a fire alarm is on, we take action, check if everything is fine and act accordingly, and that is the same approach on the path to happiness. The question to ask is if the trigger of emotions is true and what one can do about it,” said Gawdat.

SEF 2022
Mo Gawdat, Author of Solve for Happy, during his speech

In a second session, Robert Wolcott, Co-founder and Chairman, World Innovation Network, shed light on how the concept of proximity is changing the global business scene. “Digital technologies are pushing the production and provision of value closer to the moment of demand,” he said. “Today, we have a global supply chain optimised for scale manufacturing at a distance.”

“Over the next 30 years, the global supply chain will be hybridised.”

sef 2022
During the panel To infinity and beyond: The case for solar powered vehicles.

A panel discussion titled To infinity and beyond: The case for solar powered vehicles, with panelists Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO, SRTIP; Khalid Huraimel, Group CEO, Be’eah Group; and Tom Selten, VP Business Development, Lightyear, addressed various elements in optimising green technologies to achieve a more sustainable planet.

Sharjah Entrepreneurship Awards 2022 winners

  • Sharjah Technology and Innovation Research Park (STIRP);
  • Arada Group;
  • Sharjah Sustainable City;
  • Sharjah Media City (Shams);
  • Sharjah Business Women Council;
  • Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority;
  • Emirates Development Bank;
  • Crescent Enterprises;
  • Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah);
  • Green House by Chalhoub;
  • Sharjah Foundation to Support Pioneering Entrepreneurs (Ruwad); and
  • National Network Communications (NNC)

Interactive stages

Bodour Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) along with UAE high-ranking officials, toured the SEF 2022 that adorns five dedicated zones for entrepreneurs to associate their passion with, namely Impact Stage, Creative Stage, Tech Stage, Community Stage, and Wellness Stage.

Live performances

SEF will be organising 10 performances by regional artists to highlight the role of arts and the unique opportunities it offers for young entrepreneurs to seize and launch their projects that can benefit from the accelerating growth in the creative industries.

Humanitarian cause

Proceeds from this year’s festival will be donated to The Big Heart Foundation, a UAE-based nonprofit that has provided health, education and emergency aid services, among others, to more than 4.5 million refugees in over 29 countries.