DOHA: Enterprise Qatar (EQ), the SME-dedicated company, awarded QR6m to the winners of the third edition of Al Fikra Business Plan Competition in a ceremony, said a press statement yesterday.
The money was distributed among six teams of young entrepreneurs for their innovative business ideas, selected from 178 proposals. The ceremony was held under the patronage of the Minister of Economy and Commerce and EQ Chairman H E Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani. It marked the end of this year’s competition held over four months in partnership with Qatar Business Incubation Centre, Qatar Development Bank, ExxonMobil, Sasol, Qatar University and Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar.
The initiative reinforces EQ’s ethos of encouraging the establishment of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to foster a culture of entrepreneurship in Qatar. During the competition applicants underwent business plan development training and were coached in financial statement analyses after which they submitted business plans which were evaluated by a panel of experts. The Minister said, “The aim of competition is not merely to collect ideas but to ignite the spirit of entrepreneurship and inspire our youth to choose a unique career path that reflects their creativity. Through it, we want our future leaders to acquire skills needed to showcase their innovative ideas and add value to our society. The hope is that we can depend on our new generation to diversify our economy..
“With this, I address all of our Qatari male and females to say, even though you may not have thorough knowledge or access to proper finances to bring your ideas to life, EQ is here to open the doors and help you turn your dreams into reality. Our hope lies in you, our new generation of young entrepreneurs and we are committed to providing you with a vast network of resources and support, including, educational and training programmes and consultancy services.”
Ali Al Khulaifi, Acting CEO, EQ, said: “The competition saw wide participation of people seeking to creatively express themselves while serving their society. This year, we received 178 proposals.”
The winners in the professional category included ‘Q Talent’ by Maryam Al Subaiey and Maryam Al Emadi (ICT sector) in first place; ‘Al Galayel Simulator Game’ by Mohammed Doumir and Mohammed Jassim Ahmed Al Kuwari (ICT sector) in second; and ‘LeFreej Café’ by Abdulaziz Al Sulaiti, Eman Al Sulaiti and Issam Alameh (Food and Beverage sector) in third place.
The winners of the student category included ‘F8’ by Ali Abbas, Saad Ahmed, Sabih Bin Wasi and Noorul Huda Admaney (ICT sector) in first place; ‘Smart Cart’ by Amna Ahmed Mabrouk, Maya Hamed, Noora Al Muhannadi and Asil Al Bardawil (ICT sector) in second; and ‘LifeSpan+’ by Daniel Cheweiky and Sultan Al Jaber (ICT sector) in third.