Government, political and institutional organizations have recently joined Enterprise Qatar’s latest SME-driven initiative, the SME Think-Tank, with scores of entrepreneurs and industrial SMEs’ owners to discuss challenges, solutions and action plans facilitating SMEs’ access to government and semi-government projects’ procurement.
The EQ Thinktank was held under the patronage of HE Sheikh Jassim Bin Abdul Aziz Al Thani, Minister of Business and Trade in Qatar, and paved the way for the upcoming Government Procurement Conference slated to take place in February 2013.
The SME Thinktank was a full-day workshop which brought together stakeholders from the private and public sectors to propose concrete solutions and formulate action plans to alleviate challenges faced by SMEs. The SME Thinktank was recognized by many as a key platform for productive bilateral dialogue to create and pinpoint vital business opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Noora Al Mannai, Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Qatar said: “The challenges that face SMEs, when reaching out to the government and semi-government entities, are multi-faceted. The primary purpose of the Thinktank workshop is to engage various stakeholders in order to glean a comprehensive outlook and deliver an action plan with proper solutions. This is strongly in-line with the QNDS 2011-2016 that endeavors to boost small businesses’ procurements processes and alleviate burdens by establishing clear and transparent policies.”
“EQ’s core mandate is to build a flourishing SMEs’ sector in Qatar and maximize the SMEs’ utilization of the existing business and growth opportunities. This is one of EQ’s central SMEs’ development strategies. Through our partnerships with all other interested government and non-government entities, we will be implementing the reform initiatives that have come out of this Thinktank to help prospective and existing SMEs to understand the basics about government procurement and the contracting market place. A pool of EQ experts will be following-up this initiative for an entire year and another major conference will be held during the first half of 2013 in order to engage further collaboration of additional related entities with the objective to improve the programme across its different phases.”
Quotes from attendees:
“Time well spent, very beneficial” stated Sheikh Nasser bin Nawaf Al-Thani, Vice Chairman NBN Holdings.
“Taking the initiative to advise and raise awareness concerning the problems SMEs face is very important. SMEs equate to the development of nations as they are the engine of developing a sustainable economy. It is essential for SMEs to be a major part of the economy not only for the purpose of development but because SMEs are the driving force for growth,” stated Maja Lornac from the Apriori Group.”
“The workshop and networking sessions that took place were very efficient and beneficial. Such opportunities are a bridge between the private and public sector that we hope will result with successful outcomes. Such an initiative will support SME development which will eventually create a backbone for a diversified and balanced economy,” stated the General Manager of the Qatari Businessmen Association, Sarah Abdallah.
“EQ’s initiative was an excellent exercise towards developing the SME sector in Qatar as well as enhancing the national economy for the coming years,” stated the Head of Business Banking Development at the Qatar Islamic Bank, Gehad S. Zarandah.
“During the networking sessions we were able to produce a working plan between established companies and smaller enterprises in order to manage relations between the two. This along with educating the public between ‘knowledge’ and ‘expertise’ is an essential point for the development of SMEs,” stated New Generation Network’s (NGN) Telecom & Network Solutions Developer, Eng. Ramy Hossam.
The EQ SME Thinktank comprised a series of workshops to discuss the main technical and financial challenges that are considered as barriers to the SMEs’ effective participation at Government procurement projects.
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