More than 5,000 Qatari entrepreneurs have benefited from “strategic services” provided by Qatar Development Bank, said an executive official, who reiterated QDB’s role in encouraging the youth to pursue innovative business ideas to transform the country into a knowledge-based economy.
Speaking at the opening of the ‘2nd Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) Qatar’ at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre yesterday, QDB CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa reiterated HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani’s resolve to tap the potential of Qatari youth to meet the objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030. Citing HH the Emir’s speech during the 45th session of the Shura Council in November, al-Khalifa said the state has provided the private sector with a wide range of benefits to help develop Qatar’s small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector and promote the culture of entrepreneurship.
Al-Khalifa emphasized that the benefits provided by QDB include access to information and training, funding, local and international markets, and a business ecosystem, among others.
Citing the bank’s recent achievements, al-Khalifa said, “QDB’s direct lending has exceeded QR6bn, while the Al Dhameen programme or partial guarantee scheme has surpassed the QR1bn mark; our guarantees for exports have exceeded QR600mn.”
He also noted that QDB’s Jahiz initiative, a joint programme with the Ministry of Energy and Industry, has benefited 46 factories concentrated in the electronics, plastics, chemicals, wood, and food sectors. The QDB official said the Jahiz initiative focuses on leasing complete and equipped facilities to SMEs and entrepreneurs to encourage the establishment of innovative and environmentally-friendly businesses.
“We are focused at creating the next generation of industrial Qataris. We have also taken into consideration that those industries must be technology-based and promotes sustainable development and protection of the environment, as well as export oriented.
“All of that cannot work without an ecosystem, which is why QDB is playing a vital role in helping the ecosystem in Qatar to work in a good way where all enterprises and all ministries’ support systems are working in harmony to support the SMEs,” al-Khalifa told Gulf Times on the sidelines of GEW Qatar, which was inaugurated by HE the Governor of the Qatar Central Bank, Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani. Al-Khalifa said QDB participated in GEW, a worldwide initiative, to promote Qatar’s private sector and entrepreneurship by connecting startup owners, investors, researchers and policymakers from across the globe.
He said the week-long GEW Qatar will also showcase many Qatari products from the 100 companies participating in the event. Held simultaneously in 160 countries annually, GEW introduces entrepreneurship to communities in six continents through a series of discussion panels, workshops and training courses.