Sharjah: The Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) has recently honoured three teams of young aspiring entrepreneurs for their business ideas, as part of the new edition of Rising Stars Competition.
Outlining how they could solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges to accelerate the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the winners exhibited how their business solutions could help solve one or more of the 17 challenges embodied in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
A total of 126 high school students aged between 13 and 18 from 21 schools pitched their innovative ideas during the 5th Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF) 2021 in November last year.
Greenhouse gas bank
Ayesha Mohamed, Ali Khan, and Hamza Bilal from Victoria International School in Sharjah bagged the first prize for designing an ‘ALS Box’ — a device that fits in the exhaust pipe of the car and acts as a greenhouse gas bank to trap harmful gases and reduce emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The young innovators were mentored by Dr Rich Ihejieto, Head of Humanities Department, and an instructor of IB Business Management at the school.
Mumukshya Baitharu and Pragathi Damodaran from GEMS Millennium School in Sharjah were adjudged second-place winners for their ‘Eco-bot’ — an IoT [Internet of Things] robot that fertilises, irrigates and keeps crops healthy. Combining technology and innovative robotic solutions, the ‘Eco-bot’ minimises the need for human intervention, helps reduce the area used for agriculture and opens more spaces for building a biodiverse ecosystem. The two students were mentored by Sharon Ommon, Innovation Leader at the school.
From plastic to arts
Three students from Al Mawakeb School in Dubai — Aljoud Alhajaj, Hoor Alhajjaj and Roudha Alhaj — won the third prize in the competition for pitching the idea of ‘Sayd’, which aims to reduce the amount of microplastics found in the ocean by transforming microplastics into artistic creations such as tables and plates, amongst others. The winners were guided by their teacher, Rana Sleiman.
Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, said: “Sheraa is on a mission to equip young people with the right skills and capabilities to build scalable and purpose-driven ventures to create a better future for all.
"Leveraging on Sharjah’s status as the educational hub of the UAE and the Arab region, our goal is to invest in human capital at a very young age to create the next generation of changemakers who will lead us into the future and strengthen the thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UAE.”
She added: “To foster this entrepreneurial mindset, the winners of the 2021 edition of Rising Stars Competition will be further empowered through Sheraa’s youth upskilling workshops that will be hosted in Sharjah during the first quarter of this year.”