Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center sets up fund to boost visibility of UAE's tech startups  

In-kind stimulus in partnership with Motivate Publishing will put tech SMEs under Sheraa's portfolio on its top publications

  
Najla Al Midfa

Najla Al Midfa

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates: Pushing ahead its agenda of creating a holistic, development-oriented environment for the UAE’s entrepreneurial community amid the socioeconomic economic challenges brought on by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) has partnered with Motivate Media Group to establish an AED 1 Million Fund to support tech startups via exclusive in-kind services.

Numerous tech startups under Sheraa’s portfolio will get exclusive access to these services, receiving benefits from Motivate – the region's leading multi-platform content producer – including advertising space in their print magazines, digital marketing, editorial support, as well as guidance with their marketing and promotional plans.

The fund’s beneficiaries will receive marketing and advertising support across platforms of four of Motivate’s leading titles, including Dubai’s first-ever magazine What’s On, Gulf Business, Emirates Woman ­– a magazine picked up by both traditional and digital audiences, and finally, their architecture digest Identity.

After pledging a US$1 million solidarity fund earlier in May to help startups under strain, Sheraa has drawn up this unique stimulus plan with the aim of helping tech startups bounce back, using well-established and reputable marketing platforms to reach a wide market audience. Motivate will guide startups on best practices, helping them target relevant audiences, to ensure that campaigns deliver optimal results.

Sheraa has been conducting surveys to assess the exact needs of its startups, where their specific challenges lie, and identify their most pressing requirements apart from fundraising. Najla Al Midfa, the non-profit’s CEO, said: “Since the outbreak, Sheraa has been thinking and acting on its feet in order to design innovative strategies to provide targeted support to its entrepreneurial community. Brand recognition and effective marketing to reach the right target audiences has come up as one of their top requirements, especially now when exposure to wider markets can make a big difference towards both the survival and revival of their businesses.”

“Motivate was a natural partner for this new Sheraa endeavour; we wanted our startups to leverage the immense market outreach they have built over 35 years. Tech SMEs benefiting from this initiative will feature alongside cutting-edge editorial, becoming known to millions in the region and beyond who form Motivate’s readership. Collaborations like these are a testament to the growing sense of community within the entrepreneurship ecosystem. We look forward to building on our partnership to further support our founders, both in the current climate and beyond,” she added.

Ian Fairservice, Managing Partner of Motivate Media Group, said: “Motivate and Sheraa are committing a substantial fund in the form of advertising and marketing, to support UAE-SMEs across all platforms, during what we are referring to as a period of business revival. This contribution forms part of our overall support and we couldn’t do better than to work with Sheraa to cover the essential Tech sector.  MMG want to help and encourage SMEs during this challenging period and see their businesses grow as we approach 2021 – the 50th anniversary of the UAE.”

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About Sheraa (Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center):

Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) was launched in January 2016 to support and grow early stage, tech-enabled ventures. It is the first step of the entrepreneurial journey, supporting founders as they develop their ideas, build and launch their initial products, and become investment-ready. Sheraa also provides a soft-landing offering to established tech startups that want to build a presence in Sharjah, helping to transform the emirate into a thriving entrepreneurship hub.

Sheraa - meaning ‘Sail’ in Arabic – is cultivating an entrepreneurial culture that empowers founders to improve their communities and change the world. Sheraa, a non-profit government organization, is headquartered at the American University of Sharjah and hosts a thriving community of ambitious entrepreneurs. The second Sheraa hub, launched in September 2018, is located at the University of Sharjah.

Since its inception, Sheraa has successfully built a community of over 10,000 entrepreneurs and ecosystem players. Over 100 startups have graduated from Sheraa’s programs, generating over $35 million in revenue and raising over $50 million in investment. In addition, Sheraa startups have created over 600 jobs.

For more information, please visit - https://sheraa.ae/ 

About Motivate Media Group

Established in 1979, Motivate Media Group operates in partnership between Ian Fairservice and H.E. Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, UAE. With a staff of over 200 experienced professionals based out of the Dubai headquarters, and the Abu Dhabi and London offices, Motivate’s wider publishing expertise includes award-winning print and digital titles such as What’s On, Emirates Woman and Gulf Business. As well as books and magazines, Motivate also produces content across other platforms like video, digital media, cinema and events. More information about Motivate Media Group can be found online.

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