The second session of the ACD Business Forum highlighted the role that SMEs play in supporting the gross domestic product of the world economy.
The executive director of Strategy and business Development at Qatar Development Bank, Abdulrahman al-Sowaidi, said that small companies and enterprises contribute to the economy and play a central role in economic activity in general, pointing out that international statistics confirm that these small companies play a vital role in the economic equation in different countries and its total contribution to GDP in developing countries is about 40%, while these companies account for about 60% of the total employment in these countries.
He added that in the framework of Qatar National Vision 2030, there are several areas of focus, the most important of which is sustainable development and economic diversification, in which SMEs contribute prominently, and very clear objectives have been set within the framework of this national vision, which requires a knowledge-based economy characterized by entrepreneurship in the business sector.
Al-Sowaidi explained that Qatar Development Bank offers various services within one umbrella to provide the necessary support for these small companies, and the impact that these companies can have on the national economy is reflected in the diversification of the economy and increasing exports and job creation in addition to economic sustainability.
On the importance of innovation in the success of these projects, al-Sowaidi said that small companies face challenges, stressing the importance of co-ordination between the active partners so that these companies succeed and work well and market their goods and enter the markets.
President of the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) Dr Geralyn Franklin said that according to the research of various organisations on the impact of small companies on the international economy, there is recognition of the importance of these companies in the economy, stressing the need to preserve these companies, and to remove the obstacles that prevent their existence and continuation.
The executive director of the International Council for Small Businesses (ICSB) Dr Ayman El Tarabishy said that in the next 30 years, the world will need more than 60mn new jobs, which is a big figure, highlighting the vital role played by small and medium enterprises, stressing that Qatar attaches great importance to this issue within the framework of its national strategy, and is seeking to raise awareness on this subject, pointing out that work should start quickly to provide all these future jobs.
Furthermore, participants at the third session of the ACD Business Forum, entitled Creativity and Innovation the key to business success, addressed the role of innovation and creativity in supporting local and regional economies.
Assistant professor at Qatar University's Entrepreneurship Center Dr Arsalan Safari stressed that education plays an important role in instilling values of creativity and innovation, especially in the early stages, adding that the task of education is not only to add information to students but also to provide students with a variety of skills including creativity and innovation.
He pointed out that young people, who constitute a large share of the population in many countries, have the greatest potential for innovation, which supports these communities in terms of creative and innovative solutions to many of their problems.
For his part, executive director of Export Development and Development at Qatar Development Bank, Hamad Salem Mejegheer, reviewed the role of innovation in increasing exports by offering innovative creative ideas for the goods and services offered, adding that innovation and creativity would offer more efficient solutions and new products to improve people's lives and reduce cost, which contributes to the introduction of diverse solutions on the market.
Mejegheer pointed out that SMEs play an important role in supporting these values, especially in light of hiring different generations and the dependence of these companies on the younger generation, which makes innovation easier in these partnerships and thus support the financial performance of these partnerships.