The Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE) concluded the competitions of the 'I am an entrepreneur' programme, which was held in co-operation between the MoEHE Business Administration Department of the Educational Guidance Department and Qatar Development Bank (QDB).
The programme aims to empower and develop innovative entrepreneurs from public school students by providing the necessary training and supervision in supporting entrepreneurial ideas and spreading the culture of entrepreneurship among them. After competitions among 85 projects submitted by students, six schools were able to win the advanced positions.
Qatar Banking Studies School for Boys came in third place for the "palm ware" project. Tariq Bin Ziyad School came in second place for the "my playgrounds" project — a playground and gymnasiums reservation programme. Abdullah Bin Ali Al Misnad Secondary School won first place with an application on tourism and hotel reservations in Qatar.
Regarding girls' schools, Al Khor Secondary School came in first place with a project of an electronic stick for the blind that contains lenses, sensors and headphones. In second place was Al Ebb Secondary School with its rubber cover project for chemicals. The third place went to Qatar Banking Studies School with its "packibox" project, a box for preserving parcels and household shipments.
HE the Education Undersecretary, Dr Ibrahim bin Saleh al-Nuaimi said the ministry's endeavour to transform into a centre that manufactures and develops innovations and capabilities through the development of institutional capabilities, while ensuring the highest level of transparency and accountability, and building partnerships with families and the public and private sectors, to achieve efficiency, equality, inclusiveness, growth and innovation in the educational system.
He added that the MoEHE aspires to develop the educational system in Qatar so that the students are armed with knowledge, flexibility, passion, curiosity and creativity by enhancing their achievements and ensuring their continuity, equipping them with 21st-century skills, instilling in them the values of Qatari identity, developing and strengthening them.
Al-Nuaimi thanked QDB and all those in charge of organising and implementing this initiative and launching the first edition of the 'I am an entrepreneur' programme, hailing the sincere efforts in embracing the ideas of entrepreneurs and the great interest in supporting small projects, for its vital role in promoting and developing the private sector as the main engine of economic growth to encourage entrepreneurs and the young generation, in particular, to be creative and innovative and translate their aspirations into a true nucleus for major projects and businesses that contribute to achieving the Qatar National Vision 2030 aimed at building a diversified and competitive knowledge-based economy.
In his speech, Acting Chief Executive Officer of QDB Abdulrahman Hesham al-Sowaidi stressed that the initiative serves to promote and spread the culture of self-employment and entrepreneurship among young people, pointing to the importance of social responsibility in entrepreneurship. He added that every entrepreneur always tries to make our lives better with the products and services it provides in various sectors, whether health, education, industries, technology, or otherwise, and this is possible by searching for challenges or difficulties that the world faces and providing solutions to them.
He explained that profit is essential to the survival of projects and necessary, but it is not the only measure of success, adding that there are other measures, such as the positive impact that the project provides to society and how the person deals with his responsibility as an active member of this society.
He explained that, due to QDB's many experiences with entrepreneurs, the most successful of them are those with a wide social impact, and everyone benefits from what they offer, and thus they achieve profits and serve their communities at the same time.
Al-Sowaidi pointed out that innovation is what gives entrepreneurs different advantages from the rest of the companies that compete with them and work with them in the same sector.
He pointed out that innovation does not always mean presenting a completely new idea that no one has preceded, such as a new invention of a product or service, but sometimes innovation is the exact opposite, explaining that innovation is sometimes presenting an old idea in a new way or changing the way the people deal with a common product or service, or correcting it, highlighting the importance of having skills such as creativity and constructive critical thinking for this.
Al-Sowaidi confirmed that the bank, as a development financial institution, is keen, along with all national partners, to build and strengthen a national business system equipped with the best financial and training programmes and specialised incubators to receive all projects and accompany them on their journey towards success from idea to export to international markets.
After announcing the results and crowning the winners, Assistant Undersecretary for Educational Affairs at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Maha al-Ruwaili, inaugurated the exhibition of the winning projects and toured its various sections, expressing happiness with the projects. She underscored the good understanding of the students of the objectives of the programme, which was able to create many opportunities for creativity and innovation.