DOHA: Enterprise Qatar (EQ), the state’s entrepreneurial support body, yesterday announced the first Government Procure-ment and Contracting Programme (GPCP). The ground-breaking initiative is expected to transform the fortunes of Qatari small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) by drastically improving their ability to win business through tenders.
The GPCP has been designed specifically to fit the needs of the Qatari SME and entrepreneurial ecosystem, making use of findings from EQ’s SME Think-Tank Seminar, which was held for the first time on May 17, 2012. At the seminar, EQ invited clients and partners to discuss the challenges facing SMEs in Qatar when accessing government tenders, and identified potential solutions that can be delivered by EQ in cooperation with its strategic partners.
Noora Al Mannai, CEO of Enterprise Qatar, added that difficulties in competing in the tendering process are one of the biggest challenges facing SMEs in Qatar today. “Having surveyed the needs and challenges of over 200 SMEs in Qatar, we can say with great certainty that competing for tenders represents one of the biggest barriers to growth,” she said.
“At EQ our mission is to support entrepreneurs and SMEs turn their ambitions into reality, by optimising their performance and minimising the risks where possible. We have designed the Government Procurement and Contracting Program meticulously to ensure that SMEs come away with a firm understanding of best practice in the area of procurement, enhanced knowledge of the requirements of major buyers in the market, and develop new contacts with buyers. Armed with these contacts and knowledge, we expect SMEs to win more business and be more competitive,” she added.
The GPCP was developed following a number of meetings with governmental and semi-governmental entities and large private sector corporations. GPCP comprised of 11 projects that are classified into four main areas: Enabling SMEs Business Environment; Business Linkage Facilitation; Business Development Services; and facilitate Access to Finance.