Posted on June 05, 2016

Last week a cross-sector group of leaders, at the early to mid-stages of their careers, took part in Navigator, a four-day leadership programme sponsored by Shell, and run in partnership with Silatech, Social Development Center (SDC) and Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC). 

The programme was designed and delivered by Common Purpose, the international leadership development organization, and brought together 26 leaders from a variety of sectors and specialisms to tackle the challenge: “How can we make a step-change in the survival rate of Qatari start-ups?” Hosted both at the Qatar Shell Research and Technology Centre at the Qatar Science and Technology Park, and at QBIC, the group were guided through an innovation process involving inputs from experts and organizations from across Qatar’s entrepreneurship ‘eco-system’. Together, they developed prototype ideas that would address the central challenge. The ideas included:

  • En-Space: an idea for an agreement between employers and employees to allow time during the week for staff entrepreneurs to do work relating to their enterprise
  • One-Stop Shop: an idea to align the different entities supporting entrepreneurship and startups and to connect SMEs and startups to all their stakeholders in one location
  • The Study: an idea to produce a study of the current situation in the Qatari entrepreneurial market needs in order to identify the gaps hindering its process and missed opportunities
  • Start-up Point: is a company registration wizard. It is a mobile application designed to help entrepreneurs with their business registration process and provide alerts on regulatory dues. It will have integration with all related ministries and departments involved in a new company formation in Qatar and, at a later stage, can be used to connect an entrepreneur with financial & legal experts, when required.

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Helping Qatar’s budding entrepreneurs to thrive is crucial as the country moves towards a more diversified, knowledge-based economy. Economic diversification is a key priority of the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the Common Purpose Navigator Programme is one of a number of initiatives Shell and their partners are supporting to promote innovation and entrepreneurialism.

Rob Sherwin, General Manager Corporate Affairs and Deputy Country Chairman, Qatar Shell & Chair of Navigator Advisory Group said: “We are proud to contribute actively, together with our partners Qatar Business Incubator Center (QBIC), Social Development Center (SDC) and Silatech, to the Common Purpose ‘Navigator’ programme as this will play an important role in engaging future leaders and entrepreneurs in some of the practical issues and challenges raised by the Qatar National Vision 2030 by helping them to be more innovative, more entrepreneurial, and better leaders.”

Participants on the Navigator programme were drawn from organizations such as Qatar National Bank, Ooredoo, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Qatar Petroleum, Vodafone, Qatar University, Doha Film Institute, United Development Company, Qatar Tourism Authority, The Commercial Bank of Qatar, British Embassy Doha; as well as Shell and SDC. Eman Al Marzouqi, Civil Engineer at Qatar Shell and one of the participants in the programme said: “The programme was very beneficial to me as it provided me with deep insights about entrepreneurship, and gave me the opportunity to connect with different entities that support entrepreneurship in Qatar.”