Small Enterprise speaks to Najla al Midfa, the CEO of Sheraa about the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region and how Sheraa is committed to helping startups grow.

What sort of startups do you work with, in the region?
At Sheraa, we do not focus on one type of startups. We are ready to help any startup that is committed to growing.

Is Sheraa open to startups only in Sharjah or does it accept all startups?
Sheraa is open to startups based both within and outside the UAE and is planning to gain access to the UAE and MENA region.

What are Sheraa’s key plans for this year?
Through our previous experience, we were able to pinpoint the needs of entrepreneurs in the region and addressed it by revamping our programs and streamlining our offerings. Thus, this year we are focusing on delivering our programs to the optimum number of entrepreneurs and helping them on their journey to success.

Tell us about Sheraa’s Seed Program?
The seed program is looking for businesses adding value to the digital economy and helps them scale up their startup to the next level. The startups have to be in the market for the past 3-6 months and should be generating revenue, but struggling with customer engagement.

What does the Seed Program plan to achieve?
The Sheraa Seed program addresses key milestones in the journey of growth and focuses on marketing channels and customer experience to make the startup ready for the next round of investments.

How many startups will be accepted into the Seed Program?
Up to 20 startups will be shortlisted by mid-September. Of this, 10 will be selected to participate in a six-week long program in October 2018. The program will be run with growth hackers, Sheraa advisors, and mentors from the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Is the Seed Program an on-going initiative or a one-off activity?
The Seed Program, as well as, our other programs such as Idea Lab, Pre-Seed and Series A are on-going initiatives.

How many startups have currently signed up with Sheraa?
We are proud to say that we worked till date with more than 200 startups and we are looking at exponentially increasing this number.

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