Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Qatar are optimistic about the rest of 2023, according to the findings of Mastercard SME Confidence Index.
The inaugural SME Confidence Index delved into the impact of the pandemic on SMEs across sectors, products and services, and how they are embracing a digital future.
As a continuation, the second edition of the survey reveals that SMEs in Qatar are confident about business growth, with omnichannel payments presenting the biggest opportunity.
As companies recover from the pandemic and return to the growth phase, the research shows that 88% of SMEs in Qatar – the highest percentage in the MENA region – project similar or increased revenue this year.
“More than 95% of the 25,000 businesses in the private sector currently registered in Qatar are classified as SMEs. Digitisation plays an integral role in promoting sustainable SME growth, and Mastercard is committed to advancing Qatar’s digital transformation as part of our commitment to connect 50mn SMEs globally to the digital economy by 2025.
“Our innovative omnichannel payment solutions open a world of new opportunities to small enterprises in the country, allowing them to tap into the limitless benefits of the digital economy,” said J.K. Khalil, cluster general manager, MENA East, Mastercard.
In Qatar, 82% of SMEs are confident about business growth this year as compared to 2022.
The survey highlights top three areas for support required by SMEs in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – training and upskilling staff (93%), access to a wider range of financial services (92%) and better telco infrastructure (91%).
Other areas of support that SMEs indicated include better data and insights (88%), mentoring by industry experts (88%) and access to a wider range of financial services (92%).
To support SMEs in navigating this journey, Mastercard Academy’s ‘The Entrepreneur’s Odyssey’ – a first-of-its kind digital education platform – was launched to bring together a range of world-class academic and business resources to help small businesses learn and thrive.
Mastercard has also partnered with Women Choice, an international organisation dedicated to advancing women’s personal and professional development, to support the creation of one million jobs for women across MENA, while supporting economic growth and development in the region.
SMEs in Qatar have identified accepting omnichannel digital payments (94%), digitising business operations (93%) and better data, analytics and insights (92%) as the main drivers of growth.
Adoption of digital payment solutions is on the rise in MENA, with 85% of consumers in the region having used at least one emerging payment method in the last year. Mastercard works as a trusted partner of governments to enable small businesses everywhere to go digital, driving economic equality and inclusive prosperity.
Following the global spotlight shone on the country last year, SMEs in Qatar feel confident that the government’s focus on its 2030 Vision goals will further improve the ease of doing business. Qatar seeks to nurture the MSME sector as it accounts for a growing share of GDP and employment.
In line with this goal, Mastercard’s pledge to connect 50mn SMEs worldwide to the digital economy by 2025 favours the small business segment greatly.
Related Story