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Startups highlight future of green economy in open dialogue on collective responsibility and sustainability

UAE

In an open dialogue session titled “The Conscious Council: Our Collective Responsibility,” hosted by the Sharjah Ramadan Majlis 2023 at the Sharjah Research, Technology, and Innovation Park (SRTIP), business leaders and heads of companies discussed the importance of environmental sustainability and Sharjah’s achievements in this sector. Participants highlighted Sharjah’s innovative projects at the local and international levels to manage waste, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and convert it into energy, while noting the changing customer trends towards environmentally-friendly products and services, and the rising global awareness of the importance of investing in green economic sectors.

Organised under the electrifying theme of “The Winning Combination: Where Business Meets Sustainability, the majlis held at the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) was a collaborative effort between some of Sharjah’s prestigious entities — Sharjah Development and Investment Authority (Shurooq), Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), and the SRTIP.

The open dialogue participants included Majid Jaafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum, Abdulaziz Al-Obaidly, Operations Manager at Masdar, Sonia Weimüller, Co-Founder of VentureSouq, Khalid Al-Huraimel, CEO of Beeah Group and a number of government officials and leaders of government institutions and startups in Sharjah. Panellists stressed Sharjah’s belief in the importance of cooperation between local, federal, and private entities to achieve carbon neutrality.

Khalid Al-Huraimel, CEO of Bee’ah Group, praised the awareness of university students in Sharjah on sustainability and their efforts to protect the environment. He particularly lauded the efforts of three girl students — Afra, Mahra, and Sarah — who created an application to identify garbage bins at full capacity remotely, thereby helping clear the waste from locations with fuel efficiency and contributing to societal well-being and reducing CO2 emissions.

Majid Jaafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum, emphasised the importance of supporting emerging companies and encouraging their entrepreneurial spirit and creativity to achieve Sharjah’s vision of balanced and comprehensive economic development based on knowledge and innovation.

Abdulaziz Al-Obaidly, Operations Manager at Masdar, discussed the role of Masdar, a company that has been at the forefront of the sustainability sector in the UAE, in establishing the first station in the region to generate electricity from solar energy, as well as its expansion in Europe and other global markets.

Sonia Weimüller, Co-Founder of VentureSouq, pointed out that supporting sustainability has significant economic returns, including attracting foreign investments, due to the growing global awareness towards investing in eco-friendly economic sectors, particularly in the agricultural and food industries.

The session witnessed a large turnout, with attendees expressing their admiration for the topics raised and the sustainable and innovative initiatives presented by emerging companies in the sustainability sector. They stressed the importance of supporting these companies and encouraging their efforts to contribute to achieving Sharjah’s vision.

Startup showcase

On the sidelines of the majlis, Emirati startup accelerator Sheraa showcased several promising startups such as Manhat, which provides sustainable water and floating farm solutions, and Palmade, a startup that produces biodegradable cutlery made from date-palm trees. Cycled Technologies AS and Fortyguard were also featured, offering smart waste management and recycling solutions and cloud-based AI tools to provide personalized temperature insights.

SRTIP also showcased startups such as Relife, which offers a digital ecosystem empowering individuals and businesses to make faster, smarter decisions across logistics and recyclables trading. Marses, a leading robotics company in the MENA region, and Conreality, which works at the intersection of drones, blockchain gaming, and augmented reality, were also highlighted.

In addition to the startup showcase, the majlis also featured a range of F&B offerings, including Paperfig, Racks Cafe, and drowsy, and performances by the Sharjah Performing Arts Academy, captivating attendees with beautiful and enchanting music. Visitors enjoyed the eclectic setting while also engaging with the entrepreneurs behind the businesses.

Sharjah Ramadan Majlis 2023 concluded as an exhilarating and informative event that brought together the community, entrepreneurs, and industry experts and left attendees feeling energised and inspired.

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