Sharjah Soars in Startup Ecosystem Rankings

Sharjah's reputation as a breeding ground for entrepreneurs has been solidified yet again. The emirate secured the number four spot in the GCC and climbed two positions to claim seventh place in the MENA region, according to the 2024 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER).

Compiled by the Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network, the GSER is a comprehensive analysis that evaluates startup ecosystems across the globe. The 2024 report, unveiled at London Tech Week, underscores Sharjah's growing influence and competitiveness in the international startup scene.

This impressive rise is attributed to a number of factors. Sharjah's strategic location plays a key role, offering entrepreneurs easy access to a vast regional market. Additionally, the emirate's commitment to education is undeniable, with a staggering $1. 5 billion invested annually. This focus on fostering a knowledgeable and skilled workforce creates a fertile ground for innovation to flourish.

Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) has been instrumental in propelling the emirate's rise within the startup ecosystem. Sheraa's dedication to empowering entrepreneurs and fostering a competitive and progressive environment has been a major driver of success.

Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sheraa, expressed her delight at Sharjah's improved ranking. "Our position in the top ranks of the GCC and MENA regions is a testament to the effectiveness of our strategic focus on fostering a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, " Sheikha Bodour remarked. "This achievement strengthens our resolve to empower Sharjah's entrepreneurs and contribute to sustainable economic development, not just regionally, but globally as well. "

Sharjah's performance wasn't limited to its overall ranking climb. The emirate also secured impressive positions in various sub-categories within the GSER. Notably, Sharjah ranked fifth in 'Bang for Buck, ' a metric indicating the average amount of capital acquired by tech startups through venture funding rounds. This highlights the emirate's ability to nurture startups with significant growth potential.

Furthermore, Sharjah secured sixth place in the 'Funding' category, which gauges innovation through the lens of early-stage funding and investor activity. This ranking reflects the growing confidence that investors have in Sharjah's startup scene.

The emirate's performance extended to 'Market Reach' as well, where it achieved seventh place. This category tracks a startup ecosystem's global connectedness, including the presence of leading international companies and the accessibility of local markets. Sharjah's ranking here signifies its ability to connect its startups with a broader audience.

Sharjah's impressive showing wasn't limited to these top categories. The emirate also secured spots within the Top 15 rankings for both 'Knowledge' and 'Performance. ' 'Knowledge' assesses innovation through research and patent activity, while 'Performance' evaluates the overall size and success of an ecosystem based on the value generated by tech startups through exits and funding.

Sharjah's ascent within the GSER rankings paints a clear picture:the emirate is rapidly transforming into a premier hub for entrepreneurs and startups in the MENA region. With its strategic focus on fostering a supportive and innovative environment, Sharjah is poised to continue its impressive trajectory in the years to come.

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