Incubation Centre aims to give Qatar start-ups a boost…

The newly-launched QR100mn Qatar Business Incubation Centre (QBIC) is expected to give a big boost to entrepreneurship in the country.

QBIC, the largest incubator in the Middle East and North Africa, was launched by HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani on Thursday.

Based at a 20,000sqm site in the New Industrial Area, QBIC is a flagship project in the government’s wider effort to encourage entrepreneurs in Qatar to set up and establish businesses.

QBIC’s launch marks the fulfilment of a key development target for the private sector and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Qatar, which will now receive vital, integrated support through office space, workshops, laboratories, production services, technical and administrative support and mentoring programmes.

In May, QBIC, which is a joint initiative between the Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and Social Development Centre (SDC), announced that it would incubate some 15 projects of entrepreneurs who participated in its Lean Startup programme.

The 15 projects will now be offered office space and financing with incubation services for two years.

This is in addition to initial conditional seed-funding worth QR100,000.

Additionally, four scale-up projects will be offered QBIC’s services for two years with potential funding opportunities.

Sheikh Abdullah described the QIBC’s inauguration as “a milestone” in Qatar’s  development effort  in the field of entrepreneurship and private sector support.

“Through the Qatar National Vision 2030, HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has provided our nation with a clear roadmap for the future that balances economic growth with national and human development priorities.

“I cannot think of a better example of our leader’s vision being put into action than the launch of QBIC – a project that will enable upcoming Qatari entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams,” Sheikh Abdullah said.

HE the Qatar Central Bank Governor and QDB chairman, Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani, said QDB “was delighted” to partner with the SDC throughout the establishment of the QBIC which he described as an “important national project”.

“We are confident that QBIC will now take its place in the front rank of incubators around the world and provide a major boost to Qatar’s economic development,” he said.

QDB CEO and QBIC chairman Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa expected the incubator to “add tremendous value to Qatar’s entrepreneurial ecosystem”.

He said:  “We are proud of our joint efforts with the Social Development Centre to equip and launch the largest incubator in the Middle East and North Africa.

In addition to funding the construction of the incubator, al-Khalifa said QR25mn was allocated to support the incubated projects and offer all the facilities and services entrepreneurs need from a project’s inception to its operation.

“Through QBIC’s flagship Lean Startup programme, we have supported and launched more than 21 projects that truly showcase entrepreneurs’ potential and progress in Qatar.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners across the entrepreneurial landscape to achieve the utmost benefit for these great innovators,” he said. Source: Gulf Times