Source: Trade Arabia
Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) and CE-Ventures have disbursed more than AED700,000 ($190,560) in equity-free grants to 11 startups, offering them an opportunity to navigate current economic challenges.
The 11 selected startups operate in the retail, real estate, fintech, travel & tourism, agriculture, education, technology and creative sectors. Sheraa and CE-Ventures effort to support local industries is inspired by Sharjah’s keen interest in promoting and supporting startups in a variety of sectors that continue to contribute to the emirate’s strong and diversified economy.
This joint fund falls under the #UbuntuLoveChallenge, a global initiative spearheaded by Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa), and Mamadou Kwidjim Toure, founder of the Africa 2.0 Foundation.
The collaboration between CE-Ventures and Sheraa follows Sheraa’s $1 million Startup Solidarity Fund announcement made earlier this year.
Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, said: “Injecting emergency capital into Sheraa startups that have been unduly affected by the pandemic has been a top priority to ensure they are able to quickly recover and resume their stride. Our partnership with CE-Ventures has been crucial in selecting startups that are able to benefit in the long run. The collaboration is a testimony to our mutual dedication to building a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem that contributes to a thriving economy.
"Tushar Singhvi, Director of CE-Ventures, the corporate venture capital (CVC) platform of Crescent Enterprises, said: “In collaboration with Sheraa, we have selected 11 startups that demonstrated a culture of resilience, continued to have robust business models, and proactively pivoted to weather the crisis.
Candidates were requested to submit detailed business plans that attested to the startup’s performance based on revenue and profitability prior to the pandemic, as well as their ability to mitigate the current negative impact of Covid-19.
Apart from technical assessments, the shortlisting process also reviewed the startup teams’ competencies and expertise to help gauge their capacity to manage the business during the present crisis, and capability to effectively utilize incoming funds to grow their business.