Najla Al-Midfa is General Manager of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), a government-supported entity with a mandate to build the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Sharjah, and support the next generation of entrepreneurs as they build and grow innovative startups that will positively contribute to the region’s economy. Launched in 2016 under the chairmanship of HE Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Najla helped conceive the vision for Sheraa from inception, including: forming a prominent advisory board, building a high-performing team, and structuring partnerships with key corporates in the ecosystem to support startups. Today, Sheraa has a community of over 4,000 aspiring and existing entrepreneurs. Thirty startups have graduated from Sheraa’s accelerator program, having raised over $10MM in seed investment. These startups continue to generate over $8MM in recurring sales.
Najla is also founder of Khayarat, a platform that empowers young, high-potential Emiratis to make informed career choices, and enables them to succeed in the private sector. Khayarat has a community of over 1,000 young Emiratis, and over 70 placements in leading international private sector companies.
In her previous role as Senior Manager at Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, a AED 2 billion government fund, Najla led a team of business counselors through the due diligence process of selecting ventures for financing. She also set up and operated the Northern Emirate branch of Khalifa Fund, covering Ajman, Dubai, and Sharjah.
Prior to joining Khalifa Fund, Najla was a senior associate at McKinsey and Company’s New York office, primarily serving clients across the financial institutions sector. Her experience also includes roles within PricewaterhouseCoopers and Shell.
Board Member, Chair of Audit Committee, and Member of Risk Committee, United Arab Bank
Vice-Chairperson, Young Arab Leaders
Advisory Board Member, Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi
Board Member, Middle East Venture Capital Association (MEVCA)
Board Member, Education for Employment UAE
Board Member, Sharjah Business Women Council
Board Member, Emirates Development Bank (EDB)
Board Member, Dana Gas
Master of Business Administration, Stanford University
Bsc (Hons) Computer Science, University of Bath
Aspen Institute Middle East Leadership Initiative Fellow