Gulf entrepreneurs praised the radical transformations taking place in the region's markets, and the great development achieved by start-ups and medium-sized companies in a short period of time, in terms of entrepreneurship, keeping pace with the technological revolution, and keeping pace with the concept of digitisation.
They were speaking at a panel discussion titled "GCC Entrepreneurs: Middle Eastern Unicorns," on the third and final day of Qatar Economic Forum. They called for the expansion of initiatives to develop entrepreneurial skills, including business incubators and accelerators, and financing facilities, with the aim of enabling owners of small and medium enterprises to expand locally and in the Gulf, and enter new markets.
They stressed the importance of striving to enhance the business environment, and to provide the young generations with their entrepreneurial skills, by providing an integrated set of programmes and opportunities that allow them to enter the field, and qualify them to start establishing their projects, and then contribute to the development of the sector, support the competitiveness and diversification of the national and Gulf economies.
Founding partner of Raed Ventures Omar Almajdouie said that GCC startups were witnessing unprecedented growth since 2014. He said that investments in talent and professional skills enhanced the abilities of entrepreneurs and their impact, leading to massive growth for startups that is noticed by many. He said that further advancement of entrepreneurial work in the GCC requires opening up export markets, and working to attract new investors to revive startups and provide them with fresh liquidity, he praised Qatar's efforts in this regard.
For his part, founder and CEO of Snoonu Hamad al-Hajri said that entrepreneurship was a relatively new term to the GCC, given the region is rich with oil and gas, which in turn allowed everyone to work at the government sector. He highlighted however that the recent period saw a jump in the number of startups, particularly in technology. He said that Qatar produces 5,000 graduates a year, and that the private sector is now in desperate need for entrepreneurial businesses that absorbs those graduates and provides them with decent job opportunities.
Al-Hajri noted the pioneers' ability to quickly adapt and adapt to the concept of "digitisation", as well as their ability to find effective solutions to various economic challenges, especially the risks of starting a project.
CEO and Co-Founder Foodics Ahmad AlZaini highlighted the impact of digital transformation and adaptation, and its role in the success of entrepreneurs and their projects. He estimated SME bankruptcies as a result of the pandemic to be about 60%, reaching 80% in some sectors.
Gulf entrepreneurs have praised the radical transformations taking place in the region's markets, and the great development achieved by start-ups and medium-sized companies in a short period of time.