Siege kindled spirit of entrepreneurship

 05 Feb 2018 - 9:36

Siege kindled spirit of entrepreneurship
Hamad Mejegheer, Manager of Marketing and Communications of QDB.

By Raynald C Rivera | The Peninsula

DOHA: Not only did the ongoing blockade help accelerate the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), it also kindled the spirit of entrepreneurship among Qataris, an official of Qatar Development Bank (QDB) has said.

“Definitely, the blockade has its impact on the market, not just on SMEs but also on entrepreneurship. The blockade, itself, was an accelerator for understanding the importance of entrepreneurship and the private sector as along with creativity and innovation,” Hamad Mejegheer, Manager of Marketing and Communications at QDB said in response to a question from The Peninsula at a recent media event.

The increasing awareness on the indispensable role the private sector and entrepreneurship play in the Qatari market amid the current reality is evident in the rise in the number of those availing QDB’s services as well as recent figures released by Qatar Chamber which points to a 13.4 percent increase in the number of new companies registered in 2017 compared to 2016, he explained.

He cited manufacturing as one of the sectors which has seen significant growth recently.

“The manufacturing sector is doing well. There is a big growth in this sector, though we don’t have the figures yet,” he said, adding the ‘Own your Factory in Qatar in 72 Hours’ project launched after the imposition of blockade had contributed to this growth. Aimed at expediting the establishment of manufacturing units and factories in Qatar, the said project has attracted thousands of applications, majority of which were locally-based companies. “The mentality now has changed. How we see our priorities has changed. The blockade has provided us focal point for the future; that’s what the blockade did for us,” he said.

Mejegheer was speaking on the sidelines of the partnership between Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and QDB which helps provide much needed exposure to Qatari SMEs and entrepreneurs through pop-up shops set up as part of the ongoing Shop Qatar 2018 organised by QTA.

Around 30 SMEs and entrepreneurs supported by QDB are showcasing their products through the pop-up shops.

As a development bank, QDB’s main role is to help SMEs and entrepreneurs grow and one of the challenges is providing them access to the market, he added.

“By providing them space to showcase their products gives them the opportunity to enter the market which solves this challenge. This provides them the platform to test the market, understand the situation and improve their products to compete with other brands,” he said, adding that it had been life-changing for many SMEs and entrepreneurs who previously took part in pop-ups shops.

Thanking QTA for this important partnership, he said, “We appreciate their efforts. This is not the first time that we have partnered. We enjoy collaborating with such entity that has the vision and very active role in the community.”

The 30 pop-up shops, which display a wide range of products from arts and crafts to chocolates and gifts to perfumes and clothing at Mall of Qatar, are open until Wednesday.

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