Qatar Development Bank (QDB) announced the launch of the first Qatar Entrepreneurship Award 2017 for small and medium enterprises (SME) at a press conference recently held at the Four Seasons Hotel. The award is to be held under the patronage of the Emir of the State of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

The launch of the award was attended by QDB CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al-Khalifa, together with high-ranking officials of the company, as well as members of the local business and media community. During the event, the application process for the award was opened to eligible organisations in Qatar.

The first Qatar Entrepreneurship Award comprises five categories: Best Microenterprise Award, the Best Scale-up Business Award, the Best Start-up Business Award, the Best Exporter Award and the Best Local Market Self-sufficiency Award. The registration period for eligible businesses to apply for the awards opened this week.

Following the applications, a thorough verification and review will be conducted. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by the QDB team to allow for further assessment of suitable candidates. The panel of judges will then conduct their final review and select the winners, which will be announced during a grand ceremony, to be held on 15 November 2017.

The Qatar Entrepreneurship Award will be held during the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). Held each year, GEW-Qatar is a local chapter of the international expo series designed to connect start-up owners, investors, researchers and policymakers in a week-long exhibition, comprising networking opportunities, training workshops and other development activities.

QDB CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al-Khalifa said that QDB is grateful for the Emir’s patronage of the SME community, who has long stressed the importance of the sector and who has continually motivated SMEs to increasingly occupy the centerpiece of the economy for a self-sustaining future.

Today, to that end, QDB launches the first edition of the Qatar Entrepreneurship Award to propel entrepreneurs to compete and offer their best innovations, projects and initiatives to enrich the business community with new and innovative projects that serve the Qatari community.’

 Al-Khalifa also stressed that QDB provides SMEs with a myriad of financial and non-financial assistance, including advisory support and international matchmaking support, to consolidate their footprint in the local market and help them expand to foreign markets in the interest of a blooming, self-reliant local economy.

Companies applying for the Qatar Entrepreneurship Award will have to demonstrate their ability to meet set criteria to qualify for participation. The common requirements include ownership of the company (must be registered under a Qatari citizen); commercial registration license (except for Microenterprise Award); ability to demonstrate organisational disposition for innovation; understands the social, economic and environmental impact of one’s business; and a long-term vision for strategic growth.

Participating businesses must be in operation for a minimum number of years and possess clear achievements to qualify.

The launch of the Entrepreneurship Award comes as the latest in a series of initiatives that QDB has undertaken to encourage local SMEs and entrepreneurs to develop their businesses and play a prominent role in the national economy.

Check this link for more information about Qatar Development Bank.