Building Tolerance in the UAE Entrepreneurship Community

In today’s world where hostility is on the rise, tolerance has become humanity’s best bet to achieve a more prosperous and peaceful world. The UAE of all other countries seems to have grasped this idea very well as the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the UAE, said that inducing tolerance in our people is our duty. UAE is an excellent example of tolerance for rest of the world as it is home to people of over 200 nationalities, having different faiths and backgrounds.

Every nation should consider ‘Tolerance’ as a duty and so should every entrepreneurship community. After all, one of the basic principles of entrepreneurship is that anyone can generate change regardless of their race, faith or background.

The Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa) has planned to extend this much-needed spirit of tolerance to the entrepreneurship community. Their programmes are open for everyone. For the past three years they have supported entrepreneurs from over 25 different nations having different cultures and experiences. They have always supported entrepreneurs of all ages ranging from young teenagers to people in their 50’s. From this experience, they have also learnt that there are other forms of tolerance as well that are crucial in building of a successful entrepreneurship community.

The willingness to take risk and sometimes failing along the way is an integral part of entrepreneurship and every entrepreneur should be able to handle it. Everyone needs to develop their tolerance for failure and end the stigma around it.

His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, are role models for the entrepreneurship community.

Moreover, we should also be tolerant of start-up successes. Careem being acquired by Uber has been a proud moment for the business community which also gave an idea of how much start-ups can grow. However, not every start-up has the same growth. For example, there are start-ups within Sheraa’s portfolio such as ‘The Mawada Project’, which has created an opportunity for volunteering and community-engagement programmes for children, or BluePhin Technologies, which is making a breakthrough in the field of mechanics and technology. These may not be as big as Careen, but are generating a positive impact on the society and are contributing to sustainable economy which makes them worthy and meaningful.

We should consider tolerance as our duty and embrace the difference in people as the beauty of nature. We also need to expand our definition of tolerance to embracing the risks and chances of failure and we should be accepting towards all the meaningful start-ups regardless of their size.