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Enterprise Qatar to launch business incubator

Programme will equip entrepreneurs and SMEs with 'genuine potential'

Enterprise Qatar CEO Noora al-Mannai.
Enterprise Qatar CEO Noora al-Mannai.

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Enterprise Qatar plans to launch a business incubator programme in April, reports Gulf Times. The aim of the programme is to accelerate Qatar's transformation into a knowledge-based economy.

Established in 2008, Enterprise Qatar enables entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) “to achieve greater success by developing a positive ecosystem” for startups and SMEs.

It aims to create a healthy business-entrepreneurial ecosystem in Qatar; build bridges to Silicon Valley through mentorship, education and financing; and accelerate the progress of thousands of local and regional entrepreneurs, transforming Qatar into a regional hub for technology entrepreneurial ventures.

Enterprise Qatar announced a new strategic partnership with TechWadi to launch a “Technology Incubator” during a workshop held in Doha recently.

Major stakeholders with interest in technology and research participated in the workshop. They included Qatar National Research Fund, Qatar Computing Research Institute, General Secretariat for Development Planning, ict Qatar, Qatar Foundation, Silatech, Qatar Science and Technology Park, Qatar First Investment Bank, Al Jazeera, Microfsoft, I Horizon, Qatar University and Carnegie Mellon University-Qatar.

Under this, select entrepreneurs from around the Arab region will be invited to join the incubator and benefit from a state-of-the-art ecosystem built on four key pillars: infrastructure (workspace facilities, support and connectivity), networks (partnerships, mentors, and promotion), business expansion (legal, accounting and marketing services), and training (regular CEO talks, community meetings, workshops, quarterly mentor boot-camps and investment forums).

Mentors and business leaders assist entrepreneurs gain access to Silicon Valley resources. Every year, two sets of five to ten qualified entrepreneurs will be given opportunity to access to the world’s leading technology experts in a branded Qatari Pavilion in Silicon Valley.

Graduates from the acceleration programme are eligible for subsequent seed financing from Enterprise Qatar, and local venture capital partners to expand their businesses across Qatar and GCC.

In line with Qatar National Vision 2030, Enterprise Qatar is committed to building a knowledge-based economy. Enterprise Qatar aims at developing a smarter business base in Qatar, raising companies’ efficiency and improving the chances of success for emerging, dynamic technology businesses.

In addition, the programme positively impacts human development and widens the scope for employment opportunities for Qatari youth.

Enterprise Qatar CEO Noora al-Mannai emphasised the strategic importance of the initiative to the nation’s prosperity. “Enterprise Qatar is dedicated to creating an entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem that can support the growth of the Qatari economy in line with the National Vision 2030.

"Our incubation programme will equip would be entrepreneurs and SMEs with genuine potential, but that needs to adopt best practices to flourish.

"To that end, we are partnering with Silicon Valley-based TechWadi to help us with mentorship, business acceleration and access to capital. Enterprise Qatar is the first in the region to establish such a programme,” said al-Mannai.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Enterprise Qatar,” said TechWadi chairman Dr Ossama Hassanein.

“Our philanthropic endeavours are largely dedicated to assisting Arab youths and entrepreneurs address the most challenging aspects of building successful technology companies.

"Start-ups are the seeds of innovation that not only create jobs, but also create wealth and help improve the global standard of living,” said Hassanein.

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