Boost to creativity. Najla Al Midfa, General Manager of Sheraa Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah If you’re young and want to become an entrepreneur, then the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre’s (Shera a) flagship accelerator programme may just be the thing for you.

The accelerator programme, due to start on October 15, is the first by a university. It offers a distinct advantage for engaging young students to channel their ideas into tangible business propositions. Sheraa’s new facility was unveiled in the American University of Sharjah under the patronage of Shaikha Budoor Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and chairperson of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa).

Collaborative co-working space

The new collaborative co-working space brings together the community of entrepreneurs not only in Sharjah, but nationwide, to facilitate knowledge sharing and idea generation. Visitors will find that each corner of the hub is dedicated to a pillar in Shera’a’s vision as an entrepreneurship centre. The open plan space is utilised by students and entrepreneurs alike to meet and innovate, with an in-house coffee shop making sure that energy levels never fall low. The seminar room provides a dedicated platform for inspirational speakers to come in and address the youth, while the coding room is where all hard skills can be learnt.

Najla Al Midfa, general manager of Sheraa, said, “Our new space harbours an energetic atmosphere, where the creativity and problem-solving skills of the youth can be harnessed to create innovative business ideas. We strongly believe that infusing a positive entrepreneurial spirit in today’s youth - through their immediate surrounding and resourceful guidance - will help identify their roles in the thriving start-up community. We are committed to ensuring that when young members walk out of this beautiful facility, they imbibe the relevant skills, wealth of mentorship and the confidence to make the world a better and stronger place.”

Sheraa’s flagship accelerator programme will start on the October 15. Following preliminary selection rounds where 19 teams were shortlisted, the three-month long, mentorship-driven accelerator will be a hands-on, idea-to-startup journey.

The teams will be supported with business connections and benefits such as office space, free trade licence and access to investors.