The Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa) has created a $1 million solidarity fund to support startups struggling with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Sheraa will distribute the capital among entrepreneurs through equity-free grants and commissioned projects. The aim is to help startups “to remain afloat and tide over these uncertain times”, the incubator said in a statement.
“We believe that the entrepreneurial community will play a critical role in the recovery of our society … so these grants will be used not only to help our start-ups survive but also to enable founders to develop solutions that will create a better future for our world,” Najla Al Midfa, Sheraa’s chief executive, said.
Due to the cancelation of entrepreneurship events, the fund has established the solidarity fund. The funds will substitute for the events that were canceled to stop the spread of the virus. “All allocated resources are being used towards the solidarity fund. Grants will be awarded to entrepreneurs committed to creating real impact and building a future we, and the generations to come, deserve,” it said.
Sheraa is Sharjah’s initiative to build a startup ecosystem in the emirate. It is headquartered at the American University of Sharjah. It launched its hub in September 2018, which is based at the University of Sharjah. The centre has helped founders scale their businesses. Sheraa offers workshops, mentorships, introductions to investors, government partners and corporate entities to help them secure access to growth capital.
Over 100 start-ups have graduated from their programs. These have generated over $35 million in revenue and raising over $50 million in investment.
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