QDB Launches Entrepreneurship Award for SMEs

Monday, July 17, 2017

Gulf Times -- Qatar Development Bank (QDB) launched today the first Qatar Entrepreneurship Award 2017 for small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners, it was announced.


Speaking at the launching ceremony, QDB CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa said the award is open to eligible organizations in Qatar and comprises the following categories: ‘Best Microenterprise Award’, ‘Best Scale-up Business Award’, ‘Best Start-up Business Award’, ‘Best Exporter Award’, and ‘Best Local Market Self-sufficiency Award’.


Al-Khalifa said registration for the first Qatar Entrepreneurship Award 2017 opened today. The applications will undergo verification and review, he noted.


He said a QDB team will interview the shortlisted candidates to further examine the suitable ones. A special panel of judges will then conduct a final review and select the winners, who will be announced at a grand ceremony on November 15 during the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).


The GEW-Qatar is a local chapter of the international expo series designed to connect start-up owners, investors, researchers and policymakers in a week-long exhibition, comprising networking opportunities, training workshops, and other development activities.

Companies applying for Qatar Entrepreneurship Award will have to demonstrate their ability to meet the defined criteria to qualify for participation, al-Khalifa explained.


To qualify, participating SMEs should be both registered under a Qatari citizen and commercially registered (except for the Microenterprise Award). The owners should also demonstrate the following: organizational disposition for innovation; understanding for the social, economic, and environmental impacts of the business; and a long-term vision for strategic growth.


Additionally, participating businesses must be in operation for a minimum number of years and possess clear achievements to qualify. For instance, companies operating for more than a year and have the capability to demonstrate a clear vision for growth and market expansion qualify for the Best Microenterprise Award.


SMEs with a market presence of more than two years and which are able to demonstrate unique organizational traits of innovation qualify for the Best Start-up Business Award. For companies operating for more than five years and possess a clear growth plan, they qualify for the Best Scale-up Business Award.


The Best Exporter Award requires companies to have a successful track record in regional and international trade over a set number of years, and the Local Market Self-sufficiency Award will go to companies that offer products cater to the critical needs of the local market.


“Over the years, QDB is grateful for His Highness the Emir’s patronage of the SME community as well as the broader local private sector; through his actions, directions, and speeches, he has long stressed the importance of this sector and motivated SMEs to increasingly occupy centerpiece of the economy for a self-sustaining future.


“To that end, QDB launched the first edition of Qatar Entrepreneurship Award to propel entrepreneurs to compete and offer their best innovations, projects, and initiatives to enrich the business community with new and innovative projects that serve the Qatari community.”