Feb 18, 2019
Today’s show is about cultivating resilience. But before we get into Najla’s own path of navigating social norms and obstacles, we talk about her unusual job.
Najla is the CEO of Sheraa, a government entity that has been tasked to turn a cultural city into a bustling entrepreneurship hub. We discussed why Sharjah has chosen this strategy and what the critical elements are to create a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. Culture plays a huge role here, at a micro and macro level, as does the word “failure”.
We talked about the different needs that entrepreneurs have at various stages of their journey, and how that translates into programs at Sheraa (by the way, these are all free of charge). Finally, Najla shared her story of how she got onto the board of a bank, an entertaining and eye-opening mix of head, heart and hustle.
Prior to joining Sheraa, Najla had worked at the Khalifa Fund and McKinsey and Company’s New York office, primarily serving clients across the financial institutions sector. Her experience also includes roles within PwC and Shell. Najla is a board member of United Arab Bank, where she also chairs the Board Audit Committee and is a member of the Board Risk Committee. She is Vice-Chairperson of Young Arab Leaders and a fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Middle East Leadership Initiative. Najla holds an MBA from Stanford University.