Qatar Development Bank (QDB) announced that its Al Dhameen indirect lending program has reached a new high, financing nearly 120 projects of start-ups and established SMEs, across industries, in Qatar to date. In 2014 alone, Al Dhameen financed 25 projects with a total value of QAR 130 million. By providing funds and financial guarantees for these projects, QDB seeks to promote the entrepreneurial spirit of the private sector and offer services that will facilitate the development, growth and diversity of the national economy.
Mr. Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer of QDB, said: “Success does not happen by chance; it is a choice. It is the result of hard work and the innovative policies that we have implemented to help SMEs overcome financial obstacles,sharing success and working together with our partner banks in Qatar, rather than competing with them."
Al Khalifa added: "Al Dhameen has helped SMEs in Qatar overcome the challenges they face when seeking commercial financing. The program has also helped banks overcome reservations about financing small and medium-sized companies due to the high-risk ratio of some in the sector. QDB’s role, in collaboration with partner banks, is to work together to outline the needs of these companies and provide the best all-around support to small and medium-sized enterprises. After loan disbursement,the partner banks develop lasting partnerships with SMEs and follow their progress in the market. The purpose of Al Dhameen is to work with partner banks and not to compete with them, ensuring the success and development of the Qatar’s SME sector and the wider private sector."
Al Dhameen was launched in 2010 by QDB to encourage banks to finance SMEs that have a short credit history or have no collateral to support borrowing. The program does not provide direct financing to SMEs, but rather offers business owners a facility to receive the required financing for a project from a partner bank, through issuing guarantees in favor of that bank. Under the guarantees, Al Dhameen vouches for 85% of the loan value not exceeding QAR 15 million. So far, Al Dhameen has provided guarantees worth nearly half a billion Qatari Riyal to SMEs through nine Al Dhameen partner banks.
QDB recently organized a training course for customer relations managers and credit officers at Al Dhameen partner banks in order tobuild their expertise and equip them with the best skills in the field of credit and project evaluation.QDB regularly hosts such trainings to help managers on the ground provide the right support for SMEs, explaining financing opportunities and mechanisms for reducing risks for the bank and, ultimately, helping their customers.