Sheraa launches Access Sharjah to support digital start-ups


December 18, 2019 | By RetailME Bureau

The Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa) has launched a programme called Access Sharjah. The platform will connect digital start-ups in book-related industries to relevant public and private entities in Sharjah, and across the UAE, facilitating their entry into one of the fastest-developing markets in the MENA region.

Launching in March 2020, the first edition of Access Sharjah will predominantly focus on the books and publishing sector of Sharjah, in order to support and celebrate the Emirate’s designated title of being the World Book Capital of 2019 (by UNESCO). Other editions to follow will have a different focus.

Commenting on the launch of Access Sharjah, Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, said, “Sheraa’s Access Sharjah programme provides digital start-ups in book-related industries with the opportunity to enter the Sharjah market and positively contribute to a growing sector. With a $100K prize and connections to key stakeholders, as well as additional benefits, we are excited to provide a landing pad for promising, innovative start-ups looking to scale.”

The programme will be open until January 1, 2020. Up to 10 start-ups will go through a one-month programme focused on scaling and entering new markets. Access Sharjah will offer participants a vast array of benefits including up to $100K in cash prizes for the top-performing start-up. In addition, access to a pool of skilled human capital from University City; connections to key stakeholders and potential clients such as Sharjah Book Authority, Emirates Publishers’ Association and more; business set-up support with access to rent-free co-working spaces and free licensing through Sheraa’s partnership with Sharjah Publishing City; as well as media and PR coverage.

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