Many home-based businesses and small and medium entreprises (SMEs) want to expand their operations amid the ongoing blockade on Qatar, a senior Qatar Development Bank (QDB) official has said.
“The blockade itself was an accelerator in understanding the importance of the private sector and home-based business, as well as the importance of creativity and innovation,” QDB’s Marketing and Communications manager Hamad Mejegheer noted.
Speaking to reporters at a press briefing on Shop Qatar recently, he pointed out that an increasing number of Qatari entrepreneurs are aiming to have access to the market.
As a development entity, Mejegheer stressed that QDB has been exerting efforts to help entrepreneurs grow their business and become successful.
The bank, he said, is trying to fill the gap in the market now by giving Qatari entrepreneurs access to both direct and indirect funding and training.
According to Mejegheer, QDB will launch its third edition of ‘Moushtarayat soon, an initiative that provides local SMEs access to large government projects.
In 2017, SMEs in the country secured QR700mn worth of public procurement opportunities, Gulf Times has reported.
“We are working well, after two months we will have ‘Moushtarayat,’ which serves as a platform for entrepreneurs to collaborate with various governmental entities and get some support from them,” Mejegheer said.
He also cited the success of their ‘Made at Home’ exhibition at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre last year, hosting more than 144 home-based businesses that showcased a wide range of items.
“That was what the blockade did for us. It gave us the compass for the future where we should focus and what we should do,” Mejegheer said.
The start of 2018 also witnessed QDB and Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) collaborating in this year’s Shop Qatar to provide dozens of home-based businesses and SMEs an opportunity to showcase their products at 30 pop up shops at Mall of Qatar’s luxury area.
The month-long shopping festival partnered with more than 100 budding entrepreneurs and local businesses to provide a platform that will bring them closer to customers and broaden their market reach.
Mejegheer said getting some space in a mall, for example, remains a big challenge for budding entrepreneurs.
But through the pop up shops, he noted that entrepreneurs are able to test how the market responds on the products they offer.
“They will have a customer validation, see if they need to further develop their products to compete with others,” Mejegheer added.
“So giving them just this space to showcase their works is solving one of the challenges they are facing,” he stressed.
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