Sheraa, Ministry of Culture and Youth MoU to boost UAE’s cultural and creative economy
New MoU builds on the strategic partnership signed previously between the two entities for the launch of the Access Sharjah Challenge
- Bodour Al Qasimi: The emirate of Sharjah is committed to developing a climate where sustainable entrepreneurship is encouraged
- H.E. Noura Al Kaabi: The Ministry is proud to collaborate with Sheraa to leverage Sharjah’s leading role in drawing on the high potential of its entrepreneurial ecosystem
- Najla Al Midfa: Sheraa is committed to empowering creative entrepreneurs to drive inclusive economic and social development
The Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) has entered into a new partnership agreement with the Ministry of Culture and Youth to support the growth of high-caliber startups in the creative and cultural fields and help youth leverage opportunities in the emirate’s impact-driven entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The entities have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to drive the growth of a conscious entrepreneurial ecosystem and to exchange expertise and knowledge through new initiatives and joint ventures in Sharjah, the UAE, and the region for creating a more impactful and sustainable creative industry.
The MoU, which provides a framework for collaboration between Sheraa and the Ministry, builds on the strategic partnership signed in September between the two entities for the launch of the Access Sharjah Challenge with an equity-free prize pool of $100,000 to top startups from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
In the presence of Bodour Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa) H.E. Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, the MoU was signed by Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa and H.E. Mubarak Al Nakhi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture and Youth, at the second World Conference on Creative Economy 2021 held at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Bodour Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sheraa, said: “Investing in creative ecosystems and entrepreneurs is vital to build dynamic, adaptive economies. We are on the brink of a technological revolution, and creative entrepreneurs are transforming almost every industry worldwide. The emirate of Sharjah is committed to developing a climate where sustainable entrepreneurship is encouraged. We have built an economic environment where growth is enabled in globally competitive and high-potential sectors and we believe that in signing this MoU with the Ministry of Culture and Youth, Sheraa further underscores this commitment.”
Commenting on the initiative, H.E. Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, said: “The UAE’s newly launched 10-year National Strategy for Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) establishes a new phase in the future of the creative economy and underlines the fact that culture is central to our economy, and not distinct from it.”
She continued: “To further boost these dynamic sectors, the Ministry is proud to collaborate with Sheraa to leverage Sharjah’s leading role in nurturing talent and innovation and draw on the high potential of its entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Elaborating on the MoU, Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, commented: “Sheraa’s mission to create the next wave of changemakers and to cultivate a pool of innovative, creative, and high-impact start-ups, aligns with the goals of the Ministry of Culture and Youth to invest in and empower both the youth and aspiring founders to push the boundaries of the cultural and creative industries. Sharjah’s continuous efforts to advance this dynamic sector through its focus on knowledge, innovation and creativity is steering the economy into the future and reinforcing the emirate’s status as a vibrant hub where creative ideas and businesses grow and thrive.”
Al Midfa added: “New challenges in a rapidly shifting economic landscape calls for creative solutions, and Sheraa is committed to empowering creative entrepreneurs to drive inclusive economic and social development. Our partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Youth will pave the way for developing funding and action plans to holistically support founders in the creative and cultural industries and aligns with our goals to cultivate local entrepreneurship and strengthen Sharjah’s inclusive and diverse startup ecosystem.”
Following the signing of the MoU at the World Conference on Creative Economy 2021, Sheraa and the Ministry of Culture and Youth announced the two winning startups of the Access Sharjah Challenge which was launched earlier this year to recognise founders leading the path in building a thriving creative economy.
The 10 shortlisted finalists had pitched their ideas and innovations on stage at the fifth Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF) held in November at Expo Centre Sharjah.
American University of Sharjah (AUS) professor Sohail Dahdal won the Al Makan Challenge for ‘5th Wall – Immerse Media’, that brings 3D animated objects to life by adding powerful interaction points and strong storytelling elements. Emirati founders Noura Kalban and Alia Lootah were adjudged winners of the Al Multaqa Challenge for ‘Expression Room’ located at their ‘Medaf Art Studio’ where budding artists can freely express their inner thoughts through art without any restrictions.
The Access Sharjah Challenge is in line with Sheraa’s mission to support startups in the creative sectors, and to support innovative, creative, and tech-savvy startups from around the region by connecting them with the private and public sectors to reach their target market and stimulate innovation in the UAE. Organised in strategic partnership with the Sharjah Museums Authority, Alef Group and Air Arabia, the competition focused on innovative startups operating in the following sectors under the creative industry: Cultural & Natural Heritage; Performance & Celebration; Visual Arts & Crafts; Audio Visual & Interactive Media; Design and Creative Services; and Books & Press.SEE ALL STORIES