H.E. Sara Al Madani speaks about ShjSEEN, the unique initiative by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry to strengthening the culture of quality, organizational excellence and innovation in the Emirate of Sharjah
What is ShjSEEN all about?
ShjSEEN seeks to strengthen the position of Sharjah as an aspirational place to live, work and invest. Our vision is to benefit Sharjah’s economy in all business sectors by furthering sustainable economic growth and recognizing business achievement. Also, we are looking to strengthen the culture of Quality, Organizational Excellence and Innovation in Sharjah.
Drawing on Global Best Practices, shjSEEN will promote and celebrate all business sectors and create a positive competitive environment in the emirate. ShjSEEN is targeting Big Businesses, SMEs and Start-ups.
How does ShjSEEN help entrepreneurs?
Our incubation program, “The (W)hole” boasts 50 start ups without any nationality, age, gender, or language restrictions. All start-ups are welcome to participate. It is a free of cost two-year program where participants get to learn, explore and test their business under our bespoke program that will guide them on what it takes to make it to the real world.
ShjSEEN is a very young and unique initiative by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. What makes us special and different from similar projects is that we carry out monthly activations to keep the community engaged and highlight our beautiful city of Sharjah and its soul. Our events are unlike others because they combine fun with activities outside of the conventional box.
Does ShjSEEN only focus on entrepreneurship in the Emirate of Sharjah? If not, which markets do you cater to?
ShjSEEN is a nationwide campaign aimed at strengthening the culture of quality, organizational excellence and innovation in Sharjah itself. The main objectives are to reinforce Sharjah’s position as an aspirational place to live, work and invest. However, it is not limited to only Sharjah, it is the ultimate platform for UAE residents to connect with businesses and leaders across the country. ShjSEEN is definitely planning on expanding to cover UAE and the GCC as a whole.
Please tell us about your incubation program? What are the benefits? How do entrepreneurs sign up to the program? What is the selection criteria for your incubation program?
The shjSEEN incubate program is called The (W)hole. It provides ongoing assistance to start-ups throughout their first couple of years of operation. Every 2 years, shjSEEN will carefully select 50 multinational start-ups from the UAE, in which 4 start-ups will be selected from the MENA incubation programs to join The (W)hole.
Our team then helps establish each start-up’s operations in Sharjah by providing work spaces for founders. The incubation program runs for a twenty-four-month cycle and covers operational costs such as office rent and licensing fees (locals and expats).
Please tell us about your ACTIVATE program.
The shjSEEN Activate program organizes bespoke inbound and outbound roadshow excursions to promote Sharjah’s business, cultural, and lifestyle opportunities. Inbound trips visit important commercial and cultural sites in Sharjah while outbound trips take Sharjah initiatives and achievements to the rest of the United Arab Emirates. That’s not all, we create unique events that will highlight and raise awareness in the city of Sharjah.
Please tell us about your Awards initiative. How does one get nominated for the awards? What are the benefits to the winners?
The annual ShjSEEN Award recognizes outstanding business achievement and is the most exclusive business award program in the emirate of Sharjah. The program consists of five distinct awards which are:
- Sharjah TOP 10 BUSINESSES Award for large or medium enterprises (Sharjah Only, By Invitation Only, for Private Sector Only)
- Sharjah UAE STARTUP Award (All UAE, For Private Sector Only)
- Sharjah ENTREPRENEUR Award (Sharjah, Eastern area, Central area only, For Private Sector Only)
- Sharjah GREEN Award (Sharjah Only, All Sectors)
- Sharjah SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Award (Sharjah, All Sectors)
All the awards are open to the private sector, except for Sharjah Green Award and Sharjah SR Award which are open to all sectors. The Sharjah TOP 10 BUSINESSES award nominees will be exclusively selected and invited to participate by a panel consisting of reputable members. The panel is appointed on an annual basis by shjSEEN, and those who are shortlisted are thoroughly assessed by business professionals. Receiving the shjSEEN award places the winners in the top tier of highly accomplished businesses across the United Arab Emirates.