Quartet of Inspiring Entrepreneurs Discuss Business Success at Second Ever StartUp Academy Sharjah


The science of entrepreneurship was presented on Tuesday at the second ever StartUp Academy Sharjah series, an activity for established and aspiring business owners. Organised by the Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC), operating under NamaWomen Advancement Establishment, and ITP Publishing, the event taking place at Sharjah Chamber of Commerce was titled: ‘How to Kick Start Your Business’ and featured four inspirational entrepreneurs who have each achieved huge success in theirrespective fields.

Sharing their entrepreneurial experiences and shedding light on strategies behind their established processes were Bel Pesce, founder of “FaziNOVA”, Mohammed Al Musharrkh, Director of ‘CrossFit Hour Gym’, Rabih Brair, Managing Partner at TandemPartners and Mohamed Al Awadhi, award-winning Emirati filmmaker. The workshop was moderated by Tolga James, investor and philanthropist. Speaking at her introductory address at the second StartUp Academy Sharjah, Her Excellency Ameera BinKaram, Deputy Chairperson of Nama Women Advancement Establishment and Chairperson of SBWC, said: “I would like to thank Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah and the Founder and Patron of SBWC for her unstinting support in creating an environment for women entrepreneurs to thrive. It is due to her tireless efforts in elevating the status of women everywhere that we are able to be here today at this second SBWC StartUp Academy Sharjah.”

Special international guest at the forum was Bel Pesce, a Brazilian national and found of “FazINOVA”, addressed established and would-be entrepreneurs about the 10 attributes she said were crucial for business success. One of the most important traits she identified was ‘Show Up’, where she explained how great opportunities can be grasped by the simple expedient and methodologies behind presenting yourself and your business when required. Her hour-long address proved a big hit with the audience, and a testament to her inspiring oratory skills that have seen her give more than 200 international speeches and presentations. Mohammed Al Musharrakh, Director of CrossFit Hour Gym, provided a local dimension to entrepreneurship when he spoke about how he has successfully elevated the exciting fitness concept of ‘CrossFit’ in the UAE. Having noticed a gap in the market for a new and exciting workout regime, Al Musharrakh’s natural ability to capitalise on an opportunity saw him launch the CrossFit Hour Gym in Sharjah, a venture that is enjoying great success.

Taking part in a panel discussion at the forum to discuss the requirements needed to launch a successful business were Rabih Brair and Mohamed Parham Al Awadhi. The two entrepreneurs agreed that the key to a successful venture was the need to conduct market research oneself and not hire a third party. This, they said, saves capital expenditure, builds knowledge and imbues additional confidence when pitching a proposition to a potential investor. The pair also stated the importance of creating a circle of positive people who can provide encouragement, as this can help to negate any feelings of loneliness when starting out on a new venture. 

Ameera BinKaram added: “It’s truly remarkable to see such diversity and capabilities that today’s entrepreneurs can project to the world. All four panellists have truly reflected the spirit of entrepreneurship on an international level. They’ve successfully aided and inspired what it means to be an entrepreneur and the tactical approach behind kicking off their own businesses. Their keynotes addressed trending challenges which entrepreneurs face every day, and how to create methodologies in sustain financial growth. I also would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Sharjah Chamber of Commerce for allowing us the use of their facilities today - the Chamber’s forward thinking and their vision for business in the emirate is ensuring the proactive role of women in the development of the UAE economy.” 

The ‘How to Kick Start Your Business’ activity merged neatly into a second entrepreneurship event being held today (Wednesday) in Sharjah. Organised by Anwan Pods, the ’business incubator’, and taking place at Souq Anwan, Dibba Al Hisn, the ‘How to grow your business using Social Media’ workshop once more featured Bel Pesce. The inspiring young business leader was on hand to dispense invaluable advice accumulated from her experience in reaching 30 million people worldwide through her courses, books and videos and in having more than a million followers on social media. The practical workshop was aimed at entrepreneurs, new start-ups, business owners and employees working in public and private sector marketing departments who wanted to learn more about using social media techniques to grow their business.

BinKaram concluded: “Identifying a solid operational concept with the right market attributes to succeed is the kernel of a good business, but what is needed to get the idea off the ground and up and running are the qualities associated with entrepreneurship – this is what we aim to show through StartUp Academy Sharjah, a series that is complemented perfectly by Anwan Pods’ initiatives in the same area. Through our combined and concerted energies, we aim to encourage women – as well as men - to take on challenges that are unique and unorthodox but ultimately personally rewarding. We intend to prove that becoming a successful entrepreneur is one of the most empowering things ever.”

SBWC and ITP Publishing’s StartUp Academy Sharjah forms part of SBWC’s efforts to enhance the work environment for women, train and prepare them to enter into private economic activities and increase their participation in social and economic development. Incorporated in its schedule of events are a diverse programme of initiatives; including conferences, seminars, workshops and research activities that are open to both men and women. StartUp Academy Sharjah works to forge partnerships with government entities, private bodies and foundations to facilitate its mission of being an educational and community building series for entrepreneurs in the emirate.

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