More than half of the start-ups under Injaz Qatar’s “Company Programme” are run by girls, revealing a growing trend among young Qatari women pursuing entrepreneurship, an official said.
Injaz Qatar CEO Emad al-Kharja said the Company Programme is a “business” competition for young entrepreneurs, which offers an opportunity for students to experience real life business applications, develop an enterprise, and present actual business plans and prototypes of their offered products or services.
“Our programmes are open to both genders. However, we notice that schools for girls are more receptive. According to our gender score, the number of girls has been increasing over the past years,” he told Gulf Times.
“The start-up companies set up by girls represent an estimated 67% of the entire pool of such initiatives in our Company Programme, and this is massive. This happened even without any direct encouragement.
“They are more receptive, which is why we want to target more schools for girls, including universities to encourage their female students to join our programmes, and this is what we’re planning to do,” he explained.
During the Company Programme, which is run in countries all over the world, the students experience the entire lifecycle of a start-up venture as they develop a business idea, devise business plans, and produce and sell a product or a service, al-Kharja said.
The initial Company Programme journey in Qatar ends with Mubadara, the awards ceremony that is held under the patronage of the Minister of Education and Higher Education during which the local annual winners are announced, he noted.
Also, al-Kharja said Injaz will reach out to more girl students in high schools to encourage them to start their own businesses. Injaz, he added, will also help train them on how to set up a company.
“In my experience in past one year, girls have been more receptive and welcoming of the idea of entrepreneurship, and they are more committed. I think the word there is commitment,” he said.
Asked which sectors attract women entrepreneurs, al-Kharja said: “I think they have ideas related to all sectors whether it’s digital, Information Technology (IT) or tech-based, and science, or even in fashion.”
He added: “A lot of their ideas vary and they have different views, innovations, and creativity; and they’re more committed to finding solutions to everyday challenges as well, so that’s also great.
“I think girls are capable of accomplishing almost anything – they have no limits. And we try as much as possible to link them with certain organisations that can help them further, whether it is a science club or the HBKU research centre and similar agencies.”
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