Qatar Foundation graduates transform ideas into successful business
03 May 2017 - 0:11
A number of Qatar Foundation (QF) graduates have become entrepreneurs by transforming their innovative ideas into successful businesses. Their achievements demonstrate how QF’s innovation-focused education ecosystem is central to cultivating new ideas.
QF alumnus Nasser Al Zeyara Arnag, runs an artisanal bistro at Souq Wakrah, where the food is made from scratch, including delicious Japanese cheesecakes and blondies. He runs this business besides his government day job.
Al Zeyara, a former business student of HEC Paris in Qatar, is one of a growing number of QF graduates who are breaking new ground as entrepreneurs, creating their own business ideas, and taking responsibility for a diverse range of homegrown startups.
“I’ve applied all the concepts we studied in my masters to kick-start this project. had good expectations about the HEC programme and thankfully I’ve been able to use what I learned to get my startup off the ground,” said Al Zeyara, who is Head of Inspection and Permit Division at the Ministry of Interior (MOI).
Fellow QF alumna Rooda Al Neama, founder of creative agency Level 99 Lab, said the BSc in Business Administration she took at Carnegie Melon University in Qatar (CMU-Q) helped her realise her passion for entrepreneurship.
“As a CMU-Q graduate I was equipped with tools and knowledge needed to start a business. All our professors taught us that failure was not an end, and that we were young enough to try and fail numerous times until we found what we truly wanted.” “Having started and failed and changed my mind many times, I can say the vision you hold is what allows you to keep going and make it happen. In a volatile market it’s vital to focus on why you started and where you want to go, even in tough times,” she said.
Besides, a number of other QF graduates who have also become entrepreneurs, include Maryam Al-Semaitt, an alumna of CMU-Q, who set up ‘Makery’, a company that brings world of service design to local market in Qatar; Nadim Rifai, a GU-Q graduate, who developed ‘FitTastic’ to address obesity in Arab world and improve public health in the region; and Amna Ahmed Al-Misned, a Qatari senior at VCUQatar majoring in fashion design, who created her own abaya brand ‘Terzi’. Besides providing a wide range of world-class higher educational and research opportunities, through its selected partner universities and its homegrown Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), QF also hosts a number of events and conferences each year to promote spirit of entrepreneurship to its community members. One such example is ‘Souqna’, a HBKU initiative, held in October 2016 which provided entrepreneurs with a platform to showcase their businesses to Qatar’s community and encouraged students to learn more about entrepreneurship from local business owners. ‘Education City Market’, another recent initiative by HBKU, supported small-scale local businesses by offering them a platform to showcase their work. Additionally, Qatar Science & Technology Park (), a member of QF, sponsored the ‘Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2016’ to help spread the culture of entrepreneurship globally and locally.