QDB launches fourth edition of ‘Al-Fikra’ business competition
September 01 2015 11:36 PM

QDB executives launch the ‘Al-Fikra’ competition for start-ups together with official sponsors of the event.

Qatar Development Bank (QDB) launched yesterday the fourth edition of the “Al-Fikra” competition for start-ups, aimed at nurturing Qatari entrepreneurship and innovative businesses that would contribute to QDB’s economic diversification targets.
QDB CEO Abdul Aziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa said the competition, which is part of QDB’s commitment to support entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), was designed to add value to Qatar’s economy by attracting the largest possible number of entrepreneurs and SMEs.
“QDB’s goal is to support them in every possible way and to contribute to the economic diversity of the state and to support the SME sector,” he said.
He also said Al-Fikra was designed to encourage people to start their own business and to spread the culture of entrepreneurship in Qatar, as the competition reflects the “great value” of owning business relationships with investment and banking institutions and strategic partners.
The competition is divided into two phases: the selection of an idea and plan, and a final assessment phase. The committee, which is composed of 10 to 12 members of the academic and business community, as well as QDB officials, will evaluate the ideas presented during the competition and select the winning groups.
QDB head of development (Capability Development) Sultan Ibrahim al-Kuwari said the competition will run from September till the third week of November.
“Five winning teams will be selected and they will receive valuable monetary and supporting prizes. The names of winners will be announced by the end of November this year,” he explained.
Al-Kuwari said QDB has collaborated with Sasol, the official sponsor of the competition, and platinum sponsor, ExxonMobil Qatar. The bank is also collaborating with Qatar University and Carnegie Mellon University, which will provide academic support to the contestants.
“Sasol Qatar is honoured to be the main sponsor of this year’s Al-Fikra competition for start-ups, a platform we have long supported where the youth can present their innovative ideas and receive the support they need to further develop their projects. Sasol has always believed in the potential of the Qatar’s youth and their ideas through our many community initiatives,” Sasol Qatar president Phinda Vilakazi said.
Alistair Routledge, president and general manager for ExxonMobil Qatar, said: “We’re committed to providing the energy to drive human potential by helping to build a workforce that can sustain Qatar’s future – a feat which will only be achievable through close collaboration with partners such as QDB and initiatives such as the Al-Fikra business competition.”
To register, visit http://www.alfikra.me/

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