Social Development Center (SDC), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development, announced the award winning entrepreneurial projects for the first series of the Reyada Awards for Qatari Entrepreneurs in a prestigious ceremony held at the Qatar National Convention Centre.
The awards were presented to the winners by Her Excellency Munira Bint Nasser Al Missned, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, SDC, accompanied by Amal Al Mannai, Executive Director, SDC, as well as a number of VIPs and renowned figures in Qatari society.
Winning entrepreneurs in the New Venture Challenge category included Lulwa Al Mansouri, who earned the Golden award, followed by Mohamed Mansour Al Sharshani, recipient of the Silver award.
Saleh Alaidh was also awarded first place for Entrepreneur Achiever Award while Shams Al Qasab ranked second in that category. In the Outstanding Entrepreneurial Support Award category, Vodafone earned the Golden award for its dedicated corporate social responsibility efforts to support entrepreneurship, while College of the North Atlantic earned the Silver award in the same category.
Congratulating the winners of their achievements Amal Al Mannai, Executive Director, SDC, said: “I am immensely proud and amazed to witness some of the exemplary entrepreneurial projects that have earned the first set of Reyada Awards.”
“The Arabic word Reyada means leadership. The Reyada Awards were conceptualized with the intention of cultivating fresh ideas and unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit in those individuals who actively strive to make a difference in Qatar. Today, I congratulate those who have transformed Reyada Awards from a mere concept into reality, and have begun fostering a spirit of innovation and healthy competition in our country, which will in effect lead to not only a more prosperous economy, but an enhanced, stable society,” she said.
During the ceremony, SDC also thanked its official partner for the Reyada Awards – Al Ijarah Holding, in addition to Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) and Occidental Petroleum (OXY) of Qatar Ltd. – both Gold sponsors of the venture. Al Mannai stressed on the important role they are playing, all of which will further strengthen the program and SDC’s efforts to incentivize leading initiatives across Qatar.
Launched by SDC in 2011, Reyada Awards is the leading entrepreneurship awards program in Qatar. The award has been designed to honor Qatari entrepreneurs, as well as individuals and organizations that support entrepreneurial ventures. The Reyada Awards program has received 102 applications, out of which 21 were selected as finalists for the awards, following a thorough review.
The panel of judges included Abdulaziz Al Khalifa, Executive Director – Strategic Planning & Control, Qatar Development Bank; Bart Cahir, President and General Manager of ExxonMobil Qatar; Suleiman Al Khateeb, Executive Director – Corporate Development, Salam International; Roger Griffiths, Director of Entrepreneurship, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCU-Q); Haya Al Ghanim, Entrepreneurship Manager, Qatar Science & Technology Park and Ghanim Al Hamadi, Executive director, Al Asmakh Group.
Also commenting on the occasion, Munther Al-Dawood, Manager, Projects and Investments, SDC, said, “With more and more business initiatives being recognized through Reyada, Qatari individuals will be further encouraged to assume leadership roles through their own enterprise, competition will increase, and business initiatives will have all the more reason to be successful. The winners of Reyada today will inspire Qatari youth tomorrow to take initiative and contribute creatively to a more diverse Qatari corporate culture and economy.”
Nominations for Reyada Awards can be submitted to three different categories, including the New Venture Challenge Award, Entrepreneur Achiever Award, and Outstanding Entrepreneurial Support Award, with each award featuring Gold and Silver honors. The Reyada brand is packaged to represent courage, creativity, and energy through its name and design. Therefore, the iconic trophy combines three main design elements, portraying a diver plunging into the sea, a conductor improvising a symphony, and a winning athlete jumping up in the air.
Founded on the principles of hard work and innovation, the Reyada Award fits in well within the support system that SDC already provides to entrepreneurs in Qatar. SDC’s commitment to entrepreneurship goes back to 2003, when it first launched the Rasameel fund for entrepreneurial ventures. Later, in 2007, SDC launched Tanmia, a program designed to promote self-employment by providing support services to existing national small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and potential entrepreneurs to start viable small businesses. Further, SDC also supports home-based entrepreneurs with its Badr – Wa Inta Kadr program.
For more information on SDC’s initiatives, please visit http://www.sdc.org.qa/.
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