|Al-Abdan, centre, and other offcials during a press conference|
It is expected that Al Fikra will discover and attract projects that show great promise and have the potential to build a robust, start-up business environment in Qatar.
Al Fikra will honour six winners - three of whom will be chosen from among students who have entered the contest and three from among professional entrepreneurs.
A first prize of QR50,000, a second prize QR30,000 and a third prize of QR20,000 is on offer for winners at this year’s event, announcement of which will be made at a gala dinner hosted in their honour at the conclusion of the contest.
Speaking about the competition at a press conference, Enterprise Qatar chief executive officer Noora al-Mannai said: “We are delighted to be launching this idea-based competition once again this year, following the great success of Al Fikra in 2011. We are confident that there are many brilliant, business based ideas out there, which are simply waiting to be brought out by their owners who will take the initiative to formulate them.”
He explained that joining Al Fikra will pave the way for the ideas to truly emerge and shine saying: “Enterprise Qatar seeks to support entrepreneurs by placing all our energies and capabilities at their disposal. We consider this contest to be an initiative that can inspire and support young people. Our goal is not only to discover the potential that lies in the next generation of entrepreneurs, but also to give expression to our commitment to develop their ideas, transforming them into viable projects.”
Enterprise Qatar’s chief business operating officer Hamad al-Abdan said: “Al Fikra is a great opportunity for young participants to be integrated into the competitive business landscape and contribute towards sustainable development and economic diversification in Qatar. At Enterprise Qatar, we believe in the potential that lies dormant in the youth of this nation and have no doubt that Al Fikra will be instrumental in identifying some of Qatar’s future business leaders, who are waiting in the wings to be discovered.
Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar dean Ilker Baybars said: “At Carnegie Mellon, we educate our students to think creatively and bodily, as entrepreneurs and innovators. Our curricula at CMUQ also aim at developing leadership skills. We prepare the youth in Qatar and in the region to be future leaders in the most important industries in Qatar and abroad. We believe that business plan competitions are important to help students and young professionals.
More information about the competition can be had at www.alfikra.me.