QDB launches Al Fikra business competition

 07 Dec 2017 - 11:54

QDB launches Al Fikra business competition
Officials announcing the launch of Al Fikra business competition, yesterday.

The Peninsula

The Qatar Development Bank (QDB) has launched the sixth edition of its National Business Competition—Al Fikra— with the aim of supporting Qatari entrepreneurs and nurturing their creative and innovate ideas toward achieving a diversified economic development in the country.

This was announced yesterday at a press conference held at QDB headquarters, in the presence of Ooredoo and Sasol the competition’s official partners, and Carnegie Mellon University-Qatar (CMU-Q) representatives, and a number of QDB officials.

Al Fikra is an educational initiative to nurture and develop entrepreneurs in Qatar through workshops aimed at developing their entrepreneurial business ideas and transforming them into successful projects. The competition also aims to encourage them to establish new companies and promote a culture of entrepreneurship in Qatar, while marking a major milestone in their entrepreneurial career as it empowers them to form partnerships and establish excellent relationships with investment institutions, banks and strategic partners. Moreover, the business competition helps Qatari entrepreneurs hone their skills, develop their capacities and showcase their innovative work, as well as provides them with the necessary support, towards contributing to economic diversification and sustainable development in an innovative way.

Al Fikra is sponsored by Ooredoo as the official communication sponsor, and Sasol as golden sponsors, in addition to the participation of CMU-Q as the competition’s academic partner.

Hamad Al Kubaisi, Executive Director of Strategy & Business Development at QDB, said: “The launch of the sixth edition of Al Fikra Competition comes in the context of our strong commitment to support and develop the national economy and contribute to the achievement of the Qatar National Vision 2030, by empowering entrepreneurs and SME owners, developing their capacity, and providing them with the support they need to establish a foothold in the Qatari market and develop their businesses.”

Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad bin Nasser Al Thani, Chief New Business Officer, at Ooredoo Qatar, said: “Ooredoo is proud to be supporting such as importing programme for Qatar. SMEs and start-ups make up a huge part of Qatar’s businesses, and we have a vision to help digitise and enable these businesses to thrive in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030.”

Thabiet Booley, Senior Vice-President, Energy, at Sasol, said: “Sasol is pleased to be a main supporter of Al Fikra competition since 2013. At Sasol, we believe that all successful projects around us start as ideas. Entrepreneurship is an important pillar to diversify and shape a country’s economy.”

Professor George M White, Distinguished Career Professor of Entrepreneurship at CMU-Q, said: “CMU-Q is honoured to join QDB for the business competition. Carnegie Mellon has a long history in promoting entrepreneurship, both at the main campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, and here in Doha. We believe entrepreneurship is a vital tool for Qatar to achieve its 2030 vision.”
He added: “We expect to work closely with other universities and government agencies to accomplish this goal…We believe Al Fikra will play an important role in increasing the awareness of young entrepreneurs of their opportunities here in Qatar.”

Al Fikra consists of three stages: the first is to evaluate the ideas submitted, the second relates to providing workshops and training courses for the participant in order to present a clear and integrated business plans, and the final stage witnesses the presentation of project ideas work that were qualified for the finals to the jury, whose members represent the Qatari business community, QDB, and official partners.

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