Qatar Development Bank (QDB) announced yesterday the launch of its ‘SME Toolkit: Policies and Procedure Guidelines for SME Owners” as part of its vision to empower and harness the growth of the country’s entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises.
QDB CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa said SME Toolkit, which is available on link https://www.qdb.qa/en/Pages/Business.aspx, offers entrepreneurs and SMEs all relevant information on the governmental procedures and requirements during all stages of the business lifecycle — from the planning or the execution stage or operational and expansion of the project, such as the procedures for recruitment and export.
According to al-Khalifa, the toolkit is a “first-of-its-kind” initiative for Qatar’s SME community. He said since each ministry has its own procedures, QDB collected all the information and procedures in one online platform to make them easier for SMEs.
“Now, SMEs can use a single source to access and browse an online tool to find the relevant procedures and entities that they need to deal with to take their business forward.
“The toolkit takes the users through all the business phases, explaining the business documents needed and the relevant fees, if any, and the procedures they need to follow,” he told reporters in a press conference yesterday.
Speaking to Gulf Times on the sidelines of the launch event, QDB Statistics & Research manager Farah al-Kuwari clarified that the toolkit will also benefit owners of home-based businesses across the country.
“The toolkit is comprehensive and covers all SME sub-sectors, including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and it has all the procedures that a micro business needs to do in order to establish the company and have it running,” she said.
Asked about the toolkits’ accessibility on mobile devices and smartphones, al-Kuwari said that aside from the QDB website, the bank is also enhancing the toolkit to make it “user friendly and more accessible.”
Al-Khalifa noted that the launch of the toolkit follows QDB’s extensive interaction with local SME’s during the last ‘Al Majlis for Entrepreneurs’ forum to understand the challenges and difficulties entrepreneurs come across during the various phases of their businesses. Based on the feedback from entrepreneurs and SMEs in 2017, al-Khalifa said QDB developed the toolkit’s content through a specialised legal office and in coordination with a number of governmental bodies and relevant ministries, as well as from information obtained from other websites. He stressed that the toolkit was designed to guide entrepreneurs and SMEs on the procedures and policies that would be adopted at different stages of development of a project through a single source.
“QDB is committed to serve the nation’s local business community, the SME ecosystem, and economic sustainability. The role of QDB is not only to support and train entrepreneurs to transform ideas into projects, but also to finance their projects, support their growth and expansion, and help them reach local and global markets. By providing SMEs with access to vital information, we are optimistic that the SME Toolkit will help empower the local entrepreneurial community,” al-Khalifa said.
After the press conference, QDB kicked off the fourth ‘Al Majlis for Entrepreneurs’ forum to discuss the latest challenges facing entrepreneurs in Qatar. The main topic of the forum focuses on how to access information from the right sources and what services QDB is offering to overcome this challenge.
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