Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Sustainable Development (CEISD) | American University of Sharjah

The Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Sustainable Development is a  multidisciplinary research center hosted by the AUS School of Business Administration (SBA). The center collaborates with strategic partners in Sharjah to bring the research innovations and promising ideas of students and faculty members to the marketplace. It also aims to assist entrepreneurial students, alumni and faculty in accessing and leveraging Sharjah’s innovation ecosystem and the broader landscape of the UAE. At the core of CEISD's work lies research on sustainable development, encompassing environmental, social and governance sustainability themes, as well as exploration into the catalysts for sustainable growth, notably entrepreneurship and innovation.



The center’s mission is to disseminate research on sustainable development and innovation, and to enhance the entrepreneurial drivers of economic growth. This mission is made possible through fostering collaborations with external professional and academic partners.


The center endeavors to achieve the following objectives:

  • To conduct impactful research addressing innovation and sustainable development challenges, publishing our findings in renowned and influential journals.
  • To involve AUS faculty and students in generating and sharing findings that directly address challenges sourced from industry partners and the community.
  • To create a leading database, the first of its kind, cataloging innovative projects within the MENA region.
  • To identify and explore innovative and entrepreneurial research projects relevant not only to the university but also to the local community and beyond, through partnerships with stakeholders within the community.
  • To actively contribute in fostering the growth of the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem by functioning as a pivotal innovation center.

Research Focus Areas

By leveraging AUS’ comparative strengths alongside Sharjah’s and the UAE's strategic priorities, the following multidisciplinary research clusters/focus areas have been identified, involving researchers from across the university:

Entrepreneurial Skills, Management and Growth Strategies

This research theme touches upon the psychology of entrepreneurs, design thinking processes, incentive theory, knowledge management, determinants of creativity and strategic thinking. It could also explore the factors shaping the growth trajectory of entrepreneurs, which include personal attitudes and external influences, such as those from the community, spouses, business partners, accountants or bankers.

Sustainable Food Systems

This research theme could explore the link between food policy, safety, security and responsible consumption/production. It would also explore policies promoting the reduction of food waste, food recovery programs, incentives for waste reduction and the impact of such policies on food security. Sharjah has recently pioneered wheat farming in the desert, and this initiative can lead to further research in agritech that focuses on improving agricultural practices and increasing productivity in the food sector.

Environmental Sustainability

Tackling the pressing issue of environmental sustainability, this theme would emphasize climate risk assessment and management. Climate risk assessments and management are essential tools to understand and mitigate the impact of climate change on businesses, the economy and society. Research on climate risk analytics and climate risk mitigating strategies include investing in renewable energy, reducing green-house gas emissions and improving energy efficiency.

Social Entrepreneurship and Community-Driven Social Change

Through qualitative and quantitative research, as well as experimental methodologies, the theme focuses on the role of art, design and creative technology in supporting equality, social inclusion, self-sufficiency and environmental sustainability. The theme emphasizes social entrepreneurs who create innovative solutions to societal challenges, with the goal of creating social impact and positive change.

The Social Impact of Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Growth 

This theme would address the social impact of entrepreneurship and innovation. Equally important would be to determine how the latter are affected by the economic environment, property rights, prevailing policy framework and institutional environment. Governments across the world are increasingly recognizing the positive impact that the creation of new businesses can have on employment levels, as well as the competitive advantages that small firms can bring to the marketplace. Moreover, while entrepreneurship provides social and economic growth, it also offers benefits in terms of individual fulfillment, with entrepreneurship now breaking through the barriers of class, age, gender, and race.

Technology Production, Innovation and Sustainable Development

Examining technology's role in sustainable development, this theme would focus on fintech, arttech, healthtech, and edtech. Research would extend to cybersecurity, technology financing, firm strategy, innovation and business analytics.

The Circular Economy in the Fashion and Tourism Industries

Responsible consumption and production are key components of sustainable growth and development. This theme would focus on research that addresses responsible consumption and production behavior in society in the fashion and tourism industries, including recycling and waste management, renewable and nonrenewable resource management and conservation, as well as technology spillovers.

Demography, Human Capital and Talent Acquisition

This theme would examine demographic factors, such as human capital, population size, structure and distribution, contributing to economic value creation and sustainable growth. Factors to be researched could span education access, women's financial access, health innovation, Emiratization policy, labor laws and worker quality of life. Research could also explore environmental health, nutrition, migration and remittances in the context of sustainable growth and human capital development.



Dr. Jay Squalli
Director of the CEISD 
Tel | +971 6 515 2318
Email | [email protected]

You are now leaving the American University of Sharjah website.

By continuing, you will be taken to a website not affiliated with American University of Sharjah. Links to external sites are provided only for users' convenience and imply no endorsement of the site and/or its content. Note that the privacy policy and security settings of the linked site may differ from those of the AUS website.

Open link