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Each family represents a unique chapter in the nation’s entrepreneurial journey
Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre is organising Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF), on February 3-4, 2024, at the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park.
Held under the theme Our Shared Canvas, the festival will feature inspiring perspectives from four pioneering families. These families have built successful businesses and fostered a legacy of entrepreneurial spirit that spans across generations.
Spanning diverse industries such as healthcare, real estate, retail, FB and more, their stories, an integral part of the nation’s economic landscape, offer valuable insights into the dynamics and diversity of family-run businesses and the challenges and opportunities they face in a rapidly evolving region.
A name synonymous with Dubai's iconic skyline, the Alabbar family embodies ambition and entrepreneurial drive.
In the session “What it Takes to Build An Empire,” Mohammad Alabbar, the visionary founder of Emaar Properties, and other architectural marvels, will offer a masterclass in turning dreams into reality. His daughter, Mouza Al Abbar, co-founder of Alabbar Enterprises, takes the stage in “The Nation's Trailblazers,” sharing her own journey of carving a niche in the world of retail and fashion.
The Kotikollon family's entrepreneurial prowess is exemplified through their company, KEF Holdings, a diversified conglomerate helmed by Faizal E. Kottikollon, and his wife, Shabana Faizal.
From building hospitals and schools to crafting luxury stays and industrial trading, KEF Holdings disrupts diverse industries like real estate, healthcare, logistics, and trading, all while building a legacy of innovation and social impact for a brighter future. In their session, “Building Legends and Legacies through Family Business,” they will share the wisdom gleaned from over 28 years of experience.
There will also be two sessions featuring their daughters and son who have also taken strides down the entrepreneurial pathway to greatness.
In the session, “Two of a Kind: Entrepreneurial Siblings,” sisters Sophiya and Sara Faizal of ‘Paus Dubai’ will discuss the harmony and hustle driving their family-forged fashion empire.
Eco-champion Zach Faizal, founder of ‘Peec’ — which reengineers the path to e-mobility, giving retired vehicles a second life on the green highway — takes the wheel, sharing his disruptive vision for a greener future on e-mobility's fast lane in the session “Revving up the Engines of E-mobility.”
Beyond the ties of family, a powerful bond built on shared passion and entrepreneurial spirit unites Salam Dakkak and Nada Darraj, the driving forces behind Bait Maryam, a renowned cultural enterprise. Their session, “Like Mother, Like Daughter: Bonding through Entrepreneurship,” transcends generations, showcasing the power of mentorship and the enduring strength of family ties. As they share their tales of perseverance and cultural connection, they aim to inspire a new generation of female entrepreneurs to break barriers and claim their rightful place in the business world.
In "Team AngelWolf: A Story of Inclusion and Impact," Nick and Tia Watson showcase their journey in inclusive racing. Nick, transitioning from the British Royal Marines to inclusive triathlons, co-founded 'Team AngelWolf' to combat exclusion, inspired by his son Rio’s rare chromosome disorder. Tia, or Little Wolf, excels in triathlons, advocating for inclusion alongside Rio. Their session at SEF 2024 highlights their inspiring narrative of resilience and the power of inclusive living.
In "Two of a Kind: Entrepreneurial Siblings," Saleh and Alawi Al Braik discuss their distinct entrepreneurial paths. Alawi has significantly influenced the UAE’s FB industry with innovative ventures and food brands, while Saleh brings expertise in marketing, communications, and events, with a focus on health, wellness, and fitness industries. Their session offers insights into sibling synergy in entrepreneurship, reflecting their commitment to innovation and excellence in business.
Each family represents a unique chapter in the nation’s entrepreneurial journey, an example of the power of shared values, and the relentless pursuit of innovation echoing this year’s theme “Our Shard Canvas”.
As they take the stage, they will share their journeys while igniting a spark in the hearts of aspiring entrepreneurs, proving that family can be the very foundation of an empire.
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