Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center and Crescent Enterprises Join  Hands To Support Startups Amid COVID-19

•    An equity-free grant pool with ticket sizes of up to $50,000 available for Sheraa portfolio startups
•    Applications to open in May 2020
•    72% of entrepreneur respondents in a survey confirmed that their businesses were negatively impacted by COVID-19, and over 74% stated financial support was needed to cover employee salaries 

In line with the recently launched #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, CE-Ventures has joined forces with the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) to support the UAE startup community and provide equity-free grants to Sheraa’s existing portfolio startups. Ticket sizes will be up to $50,000, offering these ventures a lifeline to ensure they remain afloat as they navigate current challenges. 

The joint effort between CE-Ventures; the venture capital platform of diversified global business Crescent Enterprises, and Sheraa; a leading hub for entrepreneurship and innovation, comes on the heels of Sheraa’s $1 million Startup Solidarity Fund announcement, made earlier this month. 

In order to assess the impact of COVID-19 on entrepreneurs and identify the most pressing challenges founders are facing, Sheraa, in partnership with CE-Ventures, conducted a survey among 150+ entrepreneurs from their community. The findings will be used to tailor support offerings in the most efficient way possible.

72% of respondents confirmed that their businesses were negatively impacted to a certain extent since the COVID-19 crisis began, leading to cost cutting measures.

For most startups, the greatest obstacle was their cash runway, with 79% of entrepreneurs having between 1-6 months of runway. 74.3% of the entrepreneurs stated financial support was necessary to cover employee salaries.

In response to the financial pressures faced, 65% of the surveyed entrepreneurs have reported to be currently carrying out fundraising efforts.

The ongoing crisis has placed the Healthcare sector under a microscope unlike ever before. Learn all about the industry’s funding and investment trends in our 2019 MENA Healthcare Venture Investment Report