Posted on January 07, 2016

A workshop on financing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the GCC will be held on January 11 as a collaboration between the Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) at Qatar University College of Business and Economics (QU-CBE) and the Business Development and Investment Promotion Department of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC). It will be held under the patronage of and inaugurated by Qatar Minister of Economy and Commerce H.E. Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani.

Themed “Financing Small and Medium Enterprises and Entrepreneurs in the GCC Countries”, the forum aims to access to financing SMEs and entrepreneurs in Islamic countries. It is part of a startup research project -- the first-ever in Qatar and the GCC -- initiated by Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC), Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Qatar, Bedaya Center and Qatar Development Bank (QDB), and conducted by CFE in collaboration with ICT Qatar, and sponsored by MEC and the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC).

The event will bring together business owners, policy-makers, advisers, faculty and students to dialogue and share ideas and experiences on the importance and challenges of financing SMEs and entrepreneurs in the GCCThe opening ceremony will feature addresses by Qatar Minister of Economy and Commerce H.E. Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani, QU President Dr Hassan Rashid Al Derham, and CBE Dean Dr Nitham Hindi.

The program agenda will include a session in which CFE director Dr Mahmoud Abdellatif Khalil and assistant research professor Dr Arsalan Safari will discuss the ideas and phases of financing SMEs and entrepreneurs in the GCCIt will also feature presentations on “SMEs Financing in GCC Economies” delivered by speakers from 6 countries -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. They will present an overview of their countries’ experience in the area of financing SMEsA closing discussion will evaluate the workshop’s outcomes and recommendations.

Dr Hindi noted that the field of entrepreneurship is growing in importance for Qatar and the region, adding that the promotion of SMEs represents a key factor to achieve economic diversity and a sustainable knowledge-based economy. “This workshop highlights QU’s position as a key partner in contributing to the research priorities in Qatar and in finding solutions to current challenges and supports the values and goals of Qatar National Vision 2030. We look forward to seeing the positive outcomes and wealth of knowledge that will emerge, and be of considerable benefit to our students and faculty.”

Dr Khalil said: “This workshop aims to present the research findings and solutions for the critical issues and challenges that entrepreneurs experience in the GCC. Furthermore, it reflects the collaboration between QU and MEC to support SMEs, in line with the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030.”