Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators, is being held across the globe from 18 to 22 November 2013 including Qatar, where GEW-Qatar officially opened on Sunday 17 November 2013 at a Gala dinner.

CEO of Silatech, Dr Tarik M Yousef, said:

For far too long, the creative and productive energies of the Arab world have been bottled up and underutilised. Unlocking the power of entrepreneurship has enormous transformative potential — to create jobs, boost economies and provide innovative solutions to problems throughout our region. Global Entrepreneurship Week is an important vehicle for focusing attention on entrepreneurship and providing aspiring entrepreneurs with the knowledge and support they need to help turn their dreams into reality, and we at Silatech are proud to play a leading role in GEW-Qatar.’

The Opening Ceremony Gala Dinner featured an awards ceremony celebrating the first, second and third place winners of The Enterprise Challenge Qatar 2013’s University competition, a competition launched by Qatar Shell and Bedaya Center to encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst young people, promote their business knowledge and equip them with practical business skills. A total of 430 students from nine universities and six high schools participated in this year’s challenge.

CEO of Enterprise Qatar, Abdulaziz Al Khalifa, said:

Global Entrepreneurship Week offers a superb platform for entrepreneurs and innovators to network, learn, and be inspired by each other. It’s for SMEs to think big about making a mark on the world. It’s for entrepreneurs to begin to realise their potential by exploring exciting new possibilities and opportunities and ours as Enterprise Qatar to enable them to do so.’

The GEW is running for four consecutive days. This year, the organisers have widened the scope of the workshops and sessions, which will take place in two venues – Renaissance Doha City Center Hotel and Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar VCUQatar.

The prize-giving ceremony, was hosted by Elaine Gold, Director of Organization and strategy; CEO of Silatech; Saleh Al Khulaifi, CEO of Bedaya Center; Rob Sherwin, Deputy Country Chairman of Qatar Shell; and Jonathan Freeman, National Director of Mosaic.

The award for first place went to Team ‘Qatarans’ of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, who made a net profit of QR37 million in the final round of the business simulation. Second place went to Team ‘Kregs Co’ of Texas A&M University in Qatar, with a net profit of QR30 million and third place went to Team ‘High Flyer’ from Stenden University in Qatar, who made a net profit of QR28 million.

Addressing the GEW Gala Dinner audience, Sherwin said:

At Qatar Shell, we recognise that cultivating entrepreneurship begins with investing in young minds. We also seek to add value in the areas of our expertise – technology and innovation. It is for this reason that we brought The Enterprise Challenge to Qatar, firmly believing that corporate social responsibility should, at its core, be about creating measurable social impact on Qatari society. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to this year’s participants and hope that their experiences during GEW will inspire them further to become future entrepreneurs.’

This year, Qatar Shell and Bedaya also took the Enterprise Challenge to Al Shamal, where the finals were held with the participation of 36 students from six schools of Al Khor and Al Shamal last weekend. Al Zubarah Boys School team came first in the finals that took place at Al Thakira Youth Centre. Second place went to another team from Al Zubarah, and Al Shamal Boys School took home third place trophies.

Silatech will be organising a panel discussion on ‘Fostering Entrepreneurship in Qatar: What’s Next?’ on 19 November 2013. The discussion is targeted at aspiring and existing entrepreneurs in Qatar, as well as the stakeholders of the supporting ecosystem.