Sharjah: Under the patronage and presence of Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, the 2019 Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF), organised by the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa), kicked off at the Expo Centre Sharjah, yesterday. Set to run for two days, the third edition drew a crowd of 4,000 attendees, brought together over 100 inspirational speakers and a multitude of workshops for start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs.
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, His Royal Highness Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, Founder and CEO of KBW Ventures, and Akon, Grammy Award-winning artist and entrepreneur, this years’ underlining festival theme 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.
Other notable attendees from the entrepreneurial community included, Dr. Shefali Tsabary, New York Times best-selling author, psychologist and wisdom teacher, Vishen Lakhiani, Founder and CEO of Mindvalley and author of The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, and Jim Kwik, CEO of Kwik Learning and founder of SuperheroYou.
In her welcome speech, Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, said, “Sheraa’s message to the ecosystems of the world is: shift the focus from reckless growth to a holistic understanding that combines economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Let’s focus on building amazing businesses that give the power back to the community, providing them with jobs, dignity, independence and the true joy of a meaningful life, well-lived.”
The festivals’ jam-packed programme saw ‘Mindvalley Live’ debut in the Middle East. Attendees participated in an immersive experience that aids with personal growth, overcoming limitations, and shifts mindset towards success. Additionally, the first round of SEF’s Pitch Competition featured 100 innovative start-ups from around the region, competing for the AED100K first prize.
Day two at SEF will be filled with inspirational keynotes by Mishal Kanoo, Chairman — Kanoo Group, Muna Al Gurg, Managing Director of Retail at Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group LLC and Chairperson of Young Arab Leaders, Areije Al Shakar, Director and Fund Manager of Al Waha Fund Bahrain, Chris Gardner, Author of the Pursuit of Happiness, Jonas Kjellberg, Co-creator — Skype and Arlan Hamilton, Founder & Managing Partner — Backstage Capital.
SEF 2019 is being held with the support of its strategic partners Emaar, Sharjah Media City (Shams) and Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.