Close to 300 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) benefited from Qatar Development Bank’s (QDB) indirect lending scheme, according to QDB Al Dhameen Programme manager Jawaher al-Noaimi.
Al-Noaimi said the number of SMEs that benefited from Al Dhameen is among the development bank’s achievements this year in its pursuit to support and promote the country’s private sector, which is aligned with the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030.
Speaking to Gulf Times on the sidelines of a forum to promote Qatar-US relations, al-Noaimi said 298 SMEs benefited from the QR1.6bn disbursed by QDB through Al Dhameen.
Al Dhameen is an indirect loan facility programme that aims to encourage banks to offer financing to startups and SMEs that are unable to provide the necessary financing guarantees or collaterals.
QDB said it does not offer direct financing to SMEs. Instead, it issues a letter of guarantee to the financing bank, promising to repay up to 85% of the allocated funds (not exceeding QR15mn). The development bank said this allows startup and SME owners to obtain the financing they need from a list of participating banks to launch or grow their business.
Through Al Dhameen, al-Noaimi stressed that QDB helps facilitate financing procedures mainly for new emerging companies and for major sectors like industry, education, tourism, healthcare, and value-added services.
According to al-Noaimi, not only does Al Dhameen strive to help SMEs with low credit history and facilitate their ability to obtain loans from commercial banks, it also provides consultancy and advisory services, as well as auditing, feasibility studies, and assessment and evaluation of projects.
“QDB also organises a number of workshops to support entrepreneurs and SMEs with 880 trainees benefiting from these initiatives to date. QDB endeavours to promote and help SMEs and entrepreneurs overcome the challenges in the market, and this is an important step to support the private sector, mainly the SMEs,” al-Noaimi pointed out.
On direct lending, al-Noaimi said QDB has already financed QR8.7bn worth of projects to date. She also said SMEs also benefited from the QR525mn worth of insurance policies that QDB is providing through Tasdeer, its Export Development and Promotion Department.
Tasdeer’s development mission is to develop non-hydrocarbon exports through capacity-building incentives. It also offers Qatari companies several platforms to connect and establish trade ties across local markets by helping them participate in international fairs in specific target markets.
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