QDB Keen On Building Sustainable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem


(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Among its key objectives, Qatar Development Bank (QDB) is keen on building a sustainable, advanced ecosystem for entrepreneurship, chief executive officer Abdulrahman Hesham al-Sowaidi has said.
Forging strategic collaborations, fostering technological infrastructure growth, and setting up successful incubators and hubs are among the key pillars QDB is seeking to utilise in building a sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem, al-Sowaidi stated in an interview published in 'The Business Year: Qatar 2024'.
“Supporting the growth of a technological infrastructure and contributing to Qatar's position as a centre of innovation through impactful partnerships are part of that roadmap,” stated al-Sowaidi, who noted the significance of collaborating with local and international partners, such as Microsoft, among others.
He also said tech and software partnerships will enable startups to develop digital skills, as well as leverage cloud technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), data analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT)“to plan and launch successful and scalable businesses that are on par with rapidly growing innovative businesses around the world.”
“We have had a long-term partnership between Ooredoo and Qatar Business Incubation Centre (QBIC), which has produced the Digital & Beyond incubator, helping entrepreneurs launch new technology-focused businesses in the country.
“We have also launched other successful incubators across Qatar, including the creative hub Scale7, with M7 and Qatar Museums, as well as Qatar FinTech Hub (QFTH) with the support of Qatar Central Bank (QCB),” al-Sowaidi pointed out.
He said QDB is also supporting the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through agreements signed with leading international entities, such as the Startup Genome and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Similarly, QDB's partnership with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) paved the way for the launch of the country's Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMHUB), al-Sowaidi noted.
“We are highly optimistic about these partnerships, due to their benefit for entrepreneurs and the avenues they open for future collaborations, as well as the impact they will have on Qatar's economic diversification goals,” he said.
Al-Sowaidi said QDB is providing a wide range of initiatives and programmes that would help entrepreneurs develop their ideas, launch products, and access international markets.
“For example, we are leading various business incubators and accelerators, including QBIC, QFTH, Scale7 Fashion & Design Incubator, Qatar SportsTech, and Jahiz industrial factories, which provide dedicated mentoring and coaching for aspiring entrepreneurs through our network of leading experts.
“Our Export Development and Promotion Agency (Tasdeer) provides workshops for local SMEs to enhance their business know-how and improve their export operations. Tasdeer also enhances entrepreneurs' exposure to international markets via our successful Go-Global programme, which supports local businesses participation in the most promising global exhibitions,” al-Sowaidi said.
He added:“QDB's partnership with educational institutions, such as Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), for The Education City Innovative Entrepreneurship Programme, aligns with our three-pillar strategy of providing access to finance, access to capability, and access to local and international markets.
“We also have long-standing Learning and Development collaborations in place with Qatar University and are the development partner of the University of Doha for Science and Technology (UDST), supporting the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. In addition, the Learning & Development Department provides a series of training courses and workshops focusing on digitisation, AI, supply chain, and others.”

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Gulf Times

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