The Qatar Entrepreneurship Conference – Rowad Qatar 2020 – recently concluded in Doha. The event was organised by the Qatar Development Bank (QDB) as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) movement.
The theme was ‘Business Sustainability: My impact on my economy and my country’. The event featured interactive panel discussions and workshops in combination with engaging sessions on entrepreneurship.
As per QDB, the objectives of the event were to celebrate entrepreneurship, educate small businesses and small/medium-sized enterprises and encourage individuals to become entrepreneurs and to bring their ideas to life, to drive economic growth by creating a vibrant start-up ecosystem, to create a platform to exchange expertise and experience, to inspire local to become entrepreneurs and guide them in their journey, to foster the entrepreneurial culture and an awareness within Qatar, to be the catalyst of a mind-set shift and to reinforce working relationships and to promote networking among the most relevant entrepreneurial stakeholders in the country.
In the last year, the country has made a huge effort to advance and enhance the entrepreneurship ecosystem even in times of Covid-19 with initiatives such as the national guarantee program led by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) and QDB as part of the government’s support package of QAR 75 bn (USD 20.5 bn) to the private sector recently.
Other initiatives include without limitation or restriction the ‘Land and Industrial Loan’ program to promote and support investors to source industrial plots, obtain relevant licences and raise financing or funding for manufacturing in the most efficient manner with the aim and intention to facilitate the country’s progress, self-sufficiency and economic diversification.
The government continues to improve the ease of doing business and is welcoming new market players in the private sector. The coordination, cooperation and collaboration of the agencies, entities, institutions and organizations in the public sector is key to expedite the processes for setting up businesses.
A highlight of the conference was the virtual honouring of the winners of the Al Fikra Competition recognising their achievements in business in the State of Qatar.
The Challenges Category winners were “Thought Square”, “Tashtib”, and “Ariva”, Start-ups Category winners were “Offside Detector”, “Vchanic” and “Sounha” and Mashrouie Category winners were “The Al-Diqah Factory for Metal Recycling” and “EcoVend”. The Resilient Award went to “Snoonu”, “Qatar German Gasket Factory” and “Central Ventilation Systems” for their ability to turn the limitations and restrictions with Covid-19 into opportunities.
Al Fikra aims and intends to develop innovative ideas for entrepreneurial ventures which are promoted and supported by a series of training courses.