Why Sharjah can serve as a 'great incubator' for start-ups

Why Sharjah can serve as a ‘great incubator’ for start-ups

Sharjah, known for its cultural heritage, is now embracing the entrepreneurial revolution.

While replicating the success of Silicon Valley may be unrealistic, the emirate has the potential to become a “great incubator” by fostering its own unique territorial competitiveness.

Through my extensive research on family businesses and entrepreneurship in Sharjah, I have identified key areas where the government can drive growth and shape the future ecosystem.

Cultural and institutional changes

To pave the way for entrepreneurship, Sharjah must shift its business culture, which stemmed from a resource-based economy, towards one that encourages innovation and risk-taking.

This entails introducing societal incentives that reward entrepreneurship, foster competition and embrace failure.

By shaping a culture that values and supports entrepreneurship, Sharjah can lay the foundation for a thriving knowledge-based economy.

Attracting, developing and retaining talent

Attracting talent goes beyond recruiting white-collar professionals to fill organisational positions. Sharjah must open its doors to the best minds seeking opportunities for their ideas.

The institutional system should support creativity, nurture ambitions and recognise the social and economic contributions of talented people.

Additionally, the educational system needs to evolve from a degree-orientated approach to an integrated institution that aligns with the demands of a knowledge-based economy.

Breaking societal fragmentation

Sharjah’s cosmopolitan society is a mosaic of diverse cultures but this diversity remains fragmented across the entrepreneurial process.

To unlock the full potential of cultural, educational and knowledge diversity, strong ties formed with familial, national, and gender boundaries that impede the exchange of business ideas must be dismantled.

By fostering weak ties across individuals, the exchange of information, collaborative efforts and the exploration of opportunities can thrive, benefitting the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

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