Lewis Howes, Rashid Al Ghurair, Michael Acton Smith, Tahmima Anam among headlining stars in Sheraa's 5th Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival

With the theme #WhenStarsCollide, Sheraa's flagship festival is gearing up to inspire the next generation of founders and changemakers, Nov 22 - 23

Najla Al Midfa

Najla Al Midfa

Sharjah: With over 50 international and regional industry leaders and an inspiring mix of workshops, activations and artistic performances, the 5th annual edition of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF), organised by the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), will take place on November 22 – 23 in Expo Centre Sharjah.

A key highlight of SEF 2021 is its unique speaker line-up of inspiring personalities from around the world who are driving innovation, pushing boundaries and making change happen. Notable names who will be taking the SEF 2021 ‘Inspiration Stage’ include Lewis Howes, New York Times bestselling author of The School of Greatness and the Mask of Masculinity; Michael Acton Smith, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Calm; Rashid Al Ghurair, Founder and CEO of Cafu; Omar Nour, first Egyptian professional triathlete; Ali Tabrizi, director and cinematographer of Seaspiracy, one of the most watched docuseries on Netflix this year; Omar Samra, first Egyptian to climb Mt. Everest and the 7 Summits; Tahmima Anam, author of The Startup Wife; Aida Muluneh, Ethiopian photographer and contemporary artist; and Anas Bukhash, best known for his influencer marketing and talent management consultancy Bukhash Brothers as well as his own YouTube show AB Talks.

For the first time in its five-year history, the in-person two-day event will be free-to-attend for all visitors, providing the attendees with uninterrupted access to the entire range of SEF’s founder-focused programme agenda, networking opportunities, and empowering new experiences tailored to helping them discover and unleash their full potential.

Under the theme, #WhenStarsCollide, SEF’s community of innovative startups, government and private sector leaders, entrepreneurship ecosystem players, and budding entrepreneurs will converge on-site to drive meaningful impact in the region’s entrepreneurial landscape and inspire the next generation of changemakers.

Literary, culinary and performance arts to be celebrated across SEF 2021

The upcoming edition promises incredible educational and inspirational experiences. Sheraa is teaming up with Sharjah’s iconic social hub, House of Wisdom, to hold book signings by several authors who will be attending SEF 2021. Leading local dining institutions will be featured in the culinary zone, while attendees will be able to connect with their entrepreneurial role models in the Meet & Greet zone.

There will be a Community Workshops zone to learn and explore new opportunities in a vibrant environment, and the Activations zone will take attendees on exciting tech-driven explorative journeys. Finally, the Performances zone will feature young local musicians, such as Rashed Al Nuaimi, who recently sang the UAE National Anthem at the Expo 2020 opening ceremony, and will bring young talents from the Sharjah Performing Arts Academy on the SEF 2021 stage. 

The festival will also see the return of Mindvalley Stage, the world’s leading personal growth platform, curating two days of world-renowned impactful speakers focused on personal development and life-long learning.

SEF 2021 will fuel a new era of tech-driven, conscious entrepreneurship

Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, noted that SEF 2021 offers existing and aspiring founders in the UAE, region and beyond a thriving platform to connect, learn and take their ideas forward, as the world witnesses a global entrepreneurial revolution with brilliant solutions being offered by the startup community in the wake of the global health crisis.   

“I believe there hasn’t been a more exciting time for entrepreneurs in recent history, and a platform like SEF enables ecosystem players to coalesce ideas, intentions and efforts towards the creation of a better, more sustainable and inclusive future for all. SEF 2021 plays a crucial role in bringing together the startup ecosystem together under one platform, focused at reinforcing young, innovative talent in the UAE with real opportunities to get inspired, learn and grow as they relate with global changemakers through stories of resilience, impact and agility, to fuel a new era of conscious entrepreneurship”.     

“Under the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Sheraa has been solidifying the emirate’s status as a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem where innovation and impact-focused ideas receive every opportunity to thrive,” she added.

The festival’s main sponsors this year are the Alef Group and Sharjah Media City (Shams).

To be a part of the region’s largest festival celebrating entrepreneurs, register for free on www.sharjahef.com.

Held every year since 2017, the aim of this festival is to cultivate the entrepreneurial mindset and inspire the next generation of changemakers. Over the years, more than 200+ startups and 300+ local and international speakers have inspired a community of 13,000 changemakers, and motivated 94 percent of attendees to start their entrepreneurial journeys.


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