Over 50 powerful discussions to be held at SEF 2022 to elevate entrepreneurial success

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The 6th Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF), which will take place on the 17th and 18th of December at the inspiring Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park, will feature more than 50 diverse discussions, visions, and presentations from some of the world’s leading authorities on entrepreneurship.

The Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) annual festival has been a highlight on the calendar for future changemakers, thought leaders, and investors looking to discover the next ‘Fortune 500’ company in the making.

Under the theme “Where We Belong,” SEF 2022 will have five dedicated stages for visitors to associate their passions, namely the Impact Stage, Creative Stage, Tech Stage, Community Stage, and Wellness Stage. To cater to all communities of entrepreneurs, creators, and changemakers, exciting activities, workshops, networking and investment opportunities, and inspiring discussions are planned.

Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, said: “With over 130 speakers spearheading rich discussions on the latest trends and technologies, entrepreneurs and attendees of the two-day festival will have the opportunity to engage with and learn from industry leaders directly. Our speakers and sessions this year have been carefully curated to provide our community of changemakers the knowledge they need to realize their entrepreneurial dreams.”

Here are ten featured talks from the festival’s five stages that demonstrate the festival’s diversity while also demonstrating why SEF has become a global attraction for all those with an entrepreneurial spirit.

  • VCs and the startup ecosystem: Bracing for headwinds

This discussion featuring VCs, Tala Al Jabri, Basil Moftah and Mahmoud Adi, will cover the role and trajectory of venture capitalists in the startup ecosystem especially in this economic climate, their relation to the Middle East and the type of businesses that are most attractive to them. 

  • Panel Discussion: Breaking stereotypes and championing a new path for young women

The panel will feature two world famous professionals, Hamda Taryam (Drag-Racer) and Reema Al Mheiri (Industrial Designer and Architect), who will discuss their experience in breaking stereotypes in traditionally male dominated industries and what the future holds for women thriving in new sectors.

  • From building the region’s most popular podcast to selling a multi-million media company

Saudi podcast host and media entrepreneur Abdulrahman Abumalih, the most popular podcast host in the Arab world, will recall his journey of building Thmanyah, a media company which he partly sold for over $9 million US. His story is proof that there’s hope for independent media companies from the region to make it big.

  • Sustainable Innovation

This discussion will feature Dr. Robert Wolcott, Co-founder and Chairman of The World Innovation Network, a global connective of innovators who power a ‘serendipity engine’ to manifest purpose and impact, and reveal how entrepreneurs can make innovation a sustainable practice and how innovation is central to our future.

  • To infinity and beyond: The case for solar powered vehicles

This informative talk will feature H.E Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTIP, and Tom Selton, VP Business Development of Lightyear. It will give insight into the world’s first solar powered car produced by Lightyear, the vision behind UAE Net Zero 2050 as well as the role and infrastructure of clean mobility in the world.

  • Web3.0 and the tech ecosystem

This discussion will feature Azeem Khan (Gitcoin), Ola Lind (GBBC), and world renowned personality and blockchain expert Jamil Abu-Wardeh (METKAF), who will provide valuable information about how Web 3.0 technologies are being leveraged to create smarter and more efficient systems, and the role of decentralised technologies and digital economies.

  • Branching out and expanding your horizons

Lebanese media personality, communication advisor, and strategy-led business developer Wissam Breidy will host a discussion about turning challenges into opportunities and the unique position that entrepreneurs have to craft sustainable solutions to persistent global issues.

  • Panel Discussion: MENA to Y-Combinator

This panel discussion will be aimed at Y-Combinator graduates and feature one of the founders of DAPI — a real-time banking API that enables companies to accept bank transfer payments within any application instantly at a near-zero cost — as well as Nuha Hashem co-founder of Zywa — the first ‘neobank’ that is exclusively tailored for ‘Gen-Z’ in the Middle East and North Africa — and Faisal Toukan co-founder of Ziina, the UAE’s first peer-to-peer payment app that is on a mission to simplify finance for everyone.

  • Building psychological systems for Entrepreneurial Journey – Belonging

This empowering discussion will revolve around psychological theories of entrepreneurship that put emphasis on the emotional and mental aspects of the individuals that drive their entrepreneurial activities. The talk will feature royal guest HH Sayyida Basma Al Said (Whispers of Serenity Clinic), a pioneer and a champion of mental health accessibility.

  • Engineering the path to happiness

Best-selling author Mo Gawdat will host a talk that looks back on his 30-year career in tech and how one moment in his life motivated him on his mission of making one billion people become happier.

Mariam Bin Al Shaikh, Director of the Sharjah Business Women Council, which is a major partner of SEF 2022, said: “We aim to foster female entrepreneurs who have already become integral part of the larger entrepreneurship community within Sharjah and the wider UAE. We are looking forward to working with Sheraa by initiating dialogues and addressing barriers that  are proving hindrance to people attaining their full potential. This is just a taste of what to expect from the festival this year, in its efforts to empower and elevate interest in the entrepreneurial landscape and create a sustainable pathway to success.”For those interested in attending the two-day extravaganza and finding where they belong in their respective industries, should register and secure tickets at https://sharjahef.com/.

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