Nov 16, 2020 by QDB
His Excellency Mr. Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of Qatar Development Bank (QDB), has inaugurated the first virtual edition of the Qatar Entrepreneurship Conference 2020 (Rowad Qatar) under the patronage of the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani. The leading national initiative is organized by QDB with the support of the Qatar Investment Authority as the Conference’s strategic sponsor, Qatar National Bank and the National Tourism Council as platinum sponsors, Ooredoo as the gold sponsor, and Qatar Chamber as the honorary sponsor, in addition to a long list of national partners representing various sectors and industries.
At the outset of his speech, H.E. Mr. Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari expressed his appreciation to His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani for his contribution to the Conference. H.E Al Kuwari said that he was delighted at the inauguration of the conference, noting that it presents entrepreneurs with a unique platform to enhance their participation in building the future of Qatar's economy. As a pioneering national initiative, H.E. pointed out, the Conference builds on the success of its previous editions and complements the nation’s strategy to enrich the entrepreneurship ecosystem, which has been positively reflected in many international reports and indices, highlighting that last year, the State of Qatar ranked first in the MENA region and third globally according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report.
H.E. also referred to the State’s COVID-19 national response measures and the achievements made in the field of entrepreneurship, led by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and QDB, including the launch of the National Guarantee Program upon the directives of the Amir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, under the supervision of the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani, pointing out that the program was set into motion as part of the State’s QAR 75bn support package to the private sector.
According to H.E., the Ministry of Commerce and Industry's keenness to boost cooperation and joint coordination with the various relevant government agencies aims to facilitate and expedite procedures for granting approvals and licenses necessary for establishing businesses and providing access to these services through the digital single-window platform. H.E. added that the Ministry launched the ‘Land and Industrial Loan’ initiative in collaboration with QBD to help investors obtain licenses and industrial plots in the manufacturing-SMEs space and complete the financing procedures using the same application submitted for acquiring the plot, in a step aimed at encouraging investors to contribute to the country's progress, self-sufficiency, and economic diversification.
Meanwhile, the State continues its diligent efforts to remove all obstacles facing the various actors in the private sector, which H.E. said encompasses supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem during the recovery phase and steering its focus towards priority sectors that rely on technology and RDI as the national economy’s main drivers towards achieving the Qatar National Vision 2030.
QDB has been entrusted with the organization of the Qatar Entrepreneurship Conference, a Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) initiative, for the sixth consecutive year. Every year, the global event sets in motion a series of entrepreneurship-focused activities and events in more than 180 countries. This year, the GEN representatives have praised QDB’s efforts in establishing the first virtual edition of the Conference, which not only makes the event more accessible and enhances its global reach, but also embodies the theme of this year’s edition and its focus on business sustainability and digital transformation.
Held under the theme ‘Business Sustainability: my impact on my economy and my country’, this year’s Conference features a rich range of panel discussion sessions and workshops, as well as a number of distinguished training courses that address key topics in various fields related to entrepreneurship in Qatar and the world. The event’s opening discussion session, which discussed the facets of collaboration among academia, research institutions, and entrepreneurial enterprises, has been well received by attendees and participants across the various digital platforms.
As part of the event, the winners of the Al Fikra Competition were also honored. The competition aims to develop innovative ideas for entrepreneurial ventures and help transform them into successful commercial enterprises through a series of training courses that provide participants with the knowledge and skills necessary for the development of their ideas.
The winners of this year’s award in the Challenges category were Thought Square (first place), Tashtib (second place), and Ariva (third place). In the Startup category, the first, second, and third spots were claimed by Offside Detector, Vchanic, and Sounha respectively. Finally, Al-Diqah Factory for Metal Recycling won first place in the Mashrouie category, with EcoVend securing second place.
In parallel, the Resilient Award is dedicated to the best performing enterprises in facing the pandemic-induced challenges and turning the crisis into a platform for creativity and innovation. This year, the top three award winners in order were Snoonu, Qatar German Gasket Factory, and Central Ventilation Systems W.L.L.
This QDB initiative comes in the framework of recognizing distinguished business leaders and introducing them to the public through the Qatar Entrepreneurship Conference platform, which helps enrich the entrepreneurial community in Qatar and further enhance Qatar’s position as a leader in this area at the regional and international levels.
On its first day, the Qatar Entrepreneurship Conference 2020 garnered high praise from entrepreneurs and participants who expressed their gratitude for the organization of this year's event despite the current challenges. The 2020 edition of the Conference is taking place over the course of 5 days from the 15th to the 19th of November. More information on the Conference is available on QDB’s official website at https://www.qdb.qa/en/rowad-qatar.
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