Qatar Career Fair (QCF) has issued its final call for entries to the annual Estathmer 2014 competition, now in its fourth year. Candidates have until 18 January 2014 to enter the competition before shortlisting begins.

In partnership with the Bedaya Center for Entrepreneurship and Career Development, QCF is encouraging young Qataris to submit their ideas for a brand new business concept, in the hope of being chosen to showcase their ideas at the Qatar Career Fair 2014 and kick-start their careers. This year’s competition is also open to smaller Qatari businesses wanting to give their existing products and services a boost in the market.

Abdulla Al Mansoori, Director of QCF, said:

We believe in the Qatari youth and what they are capable of achieving, and the Estathmer 2014 competition comes in place to encourage young Qataris to unlock their potential. Estathmer 2014 is in full support of the national development strategy, and we at Qatar Career Fair aim at re-emphasising the importance of leadership and the role it plays in building the society. We understand every person has their own unique capabilities, and it’s time we release them to resume our journey towards development.’

The Estathmer 2014 competition rewards excellence in creativity, innovation, business and presentation and provides the perfect platform for budding entrepreneurs to demonstrate their talents and flair for business. Those shortlisted will spend a week attending business courses and presentation skills training and will then be invited to present their business proposals to a panel of judges, made up of young, talented Qatari entrepreneurs, who will  choose up to five winners with the most outstanding proposals.

The same panel of judges will consider all entries before shortlisting the top 10  businesses. Each of these businesses will then have to face the panel and present their work and activities and prove how they support Qatar’s success story around careers. Following these crucial presentations, winners will be chosen and invited to showcase their businesses to the thousands of people attending the Qatar Career Fair 2014 in April.

Winners from both categories will be given a free booth within the Qatar Career Fair’s ‘Startup Arena’, gaining invaluable exposure to a plethora of key influencers and peers. They will also be invited to network with potential employees, partners and investors throughout the duration of the Fair.

Saleh Al Khulaifi, General Manager of the Bedaya Center for Entrepreneurship and Career Development, added:

The competition represents a very important project, as the business leadership and SME sector is rapidly growing. We believe that the youth’s contribution to this sector is vital.’

Al Khulaifi noted that involvement in the Estathmer 2014 competition would provide young Qatari Entrepreneurs with a solid foundation in business that could strengthen Qatar’s economy in line with Qatar’s National Vision 2030.

Supporting the Small and Medium Enterprises sector is a long-term process that requires on-going investment from everyone in the sector. More importantly, opportunities like ‘Estathmer’ must always be available to break the fear barrier and get youth engaged in such initiatives.’

Qatar Career Fair hosts a number of programmes and initiatives designed to spread career awareness and establish a solid career culture in Qatar. Its flagship event the Qatar Career Fair takes place at the Qatar National Convention Centre this April and is expected to attract more than 60,000 visitors, more than half of which are young Qataris.

Registration for the Estathmer 2014 competition opened on 25 November 2013 and the closing date for entries to both the existing small business category and the new business ideas category is the 18th January 2014. The shortlisting process will continue until 2 February 2014 and winners will then be informed on 16 February 2014.

For more information, visit Qatar Career Fair’s website.