London - Startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region continue to attract robust investor interest, showcasing sustained vitality in entrepreneurial activity. In August 2023, MENA startups raised over $76 million, according to venture data research firm MAGNiTT.

Within this dynamic landscape, Sharjah stands out as one of the fastest-growing and most promising startup hubs, particularly in future-focused sectors. Sharjah’s status as a thriving entrepreneurial hub has been powerfully reaffirmed by the 2024 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER), which places the emirate 4th in the GCC and 7th in the MENA region. Unveiled during London Tech Week by Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network, these rankings spotlight Sharjah’s rising influence and competitiveness on the global startup stage.

Sharjah’s impressive climb in the rankings, moving up two places from 2023, is a testament to its unwavering support for startups and strategic emphasis on pivotal sectors. The report highlights Sharjah’s strengths in Cleantech, Digital and Creative Industries, and Edtech, emphasising its vibrant talent pool, abundant resources and thriving startup community. These rankings are a clear signal to entrepreneurs worldwide that Sharjah is a vibrant playground of opportunities for passionate innovators.

Sharjah's success can be attributed to its strategic location, substantial $1.5 billion annual investment in education, and the infrastructure provided by its six Free Zones and 33 industrial areas. The Sharjah Investors Services Center (SAEED) further bolsters this by offering streamlined support for business setup in the emirate.

Sheraa, the driving force behind Sharjah’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, has empowered over 180 startups, generating $248 million in revenue and raising $171 million in capital. Sheraa’s initiatives, including the annual Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF), have created a vibrant community of over 500 founders and more than 18,000 entrepreneurial youth.

H.E. Sara Bilhaif Al Nuaimi, CEO of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), commented, “Sharjah’s leap to 4th in the GCC and 7th in MENA in this prestigious global rankings report is a true reflection of the culmination of our relentless on-ground efforts to nurture and empower entrepreneurs and changemakers in our emirate. Here in Sharjah, we don’t just support startups, we champion them, their ideas, passions and dreams. Entrepreneurs in Sharjah benefit from unrivalled access to top-tier talent, substantial capital, and expansive markets. As we forge ahead, we are poised to amplify our impact, boosting startups in vital sectors like sustainability, edtech, advanced manufacturing and the creative industries. Sharjah isn't just a place to start a business; it's where the future of entrepreneurship is being shaped.”

The GSER’s detailed evaluation of over 4.5 million companies across 300+ ecosystems globally positions Sharjah as a rising star in the MENA startup scene, ready to attract and nurture the next generation of innovative entrepreneurs.