Posted on February 13, 2018

Qatar Development Bank (QDB), in collaboration with Qatar Chamber and Qatar Exchange, held a special press conference yesterday to announce the launch of the second edition of the SME Excellence List 2018, which will be held under the patronage of H.E Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Than, in the presence of Qatar Chamber Director-General Mr. Saleh bin Hamad Al Sharqi, and Mr. Rashid Bin Ali Al Mansoori, CEO of Qatar Stock Exchange, and some of the Bank's executives, along with a number of media professionals.

The press conference discussed the importance of the “SME Excellence List" in ranking and classifying Qatar's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the benefits these companies will receive during this event which serves as a valuable platform for entrepreneurs, to showcase their achievements as well as their outstanding and innovative efforts in managing their business.The registration dates for participation in the SME Excellence List 2018 were also announced during the press conference, which starts on the 12th of February 2018 and ends on the 31nd of March 2018. The award ceremony for the 50 SME winning companies is also set to be held on the 14th of November 2018.

Commenting on this occasion, Mr. Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al-Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Development Bank, said: "The launch of the ‘SME Excellence List’ is part of our ongoing efforts to diversify Qatar’s economy, which will in return contribute to the success of Qatar National Vision 2030. After the outstanding success of the first edition, we are delighted to announce the launch of the second edition of the ‘SME Excellence List’, whereby all young and aspiring entrepreneurs from small and medium-sized businesses are invited to vigorously participate in this program and take advantage of the initial assessments that will help them identify the weaknesses their businesses face in order to address them properly and perform better, which in return will help in increasing their chances to be among this year’s winners, as well as profiting from benefits offered."

He added:“Through the SME Excellence List Program we aim to provide all kinds of support to small and medium enterprises by encouraging young entrepreneurs to develop their performances, services and products. The program also aims in stimulating the entrepreneurs’ creativity and perseverance to prove their companies’ values and ability to compete at all levels, locally, regionally and even internationally by adopting the highest quality of standards and following best international practices. Our focus is to offer SME’s, which are considered essential contributors in the national economy, the opportunity to play a vital role in achieving a diversified economy in line with the National Vision.”

Qatar Chamber Director-General Saleh bin Hamad Al Sharqi said that the second edition of the “SMEs Excellence List Award is being held this year in the frame of the strategic partnership between Qatar Chamber and QDB. He praised the success achieved in the first edition of the competition which witnessed honoring 50 outstanding enterprises from the local private sector out of more than 800 SMEs registered in the chamber. Sharqi noted that the SMEs ranking programme is built in accordance with a set of precise and specific criteria including financial and professional standards.

This definitely served as a platform for distinctive enterprises to have an access to numerous world markets, he pointed out, affirming that the main objective of the award is to stimulate SMEs to develop its performance and to continue focusing on innovation in all aspects of their work, so they may compete locally, regionally, and globally. QC’s director general underscored the chamber’s keenness on improving the performance of SMEs to enable them to compete internationally. “We help SMEs promote their products in exhibitions and conferences held abroad and in meetings with foreign trade delegations hosted by the chamber,” he added.

Mr. Rashid Bin Ali Al Mansoori, CEO of Qatar Stock Exchange said that the QSE is proud to be collaborating with QDB in a number of areas, specifically supporting the development of SMEs in Qatar; in fact we deepened our coordination through the signing of an MoU at the recent 'Made in Qatar' exhibition and we will continue to seek ways to work together. “We share QDB's vision of fostering a culture of transparency and competition in the economic system encapsulated by the work they do in helping SMEs unlock their potential, adopt the highest quality of standards and following best international practice all of which assist in Qatar's SME sector developing locally, regionally, and globally,” Mr. Al Mansoori elaborated. 

“The Exchange will look to work with QDB and their award winning SMEs preparing them for further growth and in time assisting them in their strategic plans though a potential listing on QSE. Both organizations recognize SMEs' contribution to economic growth and employment and look forward to further cooperation in the future’, he added.

The SME Excellence List ranking program serves as an important incubator for SMEs, which allows them to showcase their products and services and contribute to the success of their businesses. The Program also honors small and medium-sized businesses that are categorized and ranked by their performance and abilities to develop and grow, and provides the SMEs all kinds of support needed.