Qatar Development Bank (QDB) recently announced the launch of the first virtual edition of the Investment Forum in Qatar, under the theme ‘Business Transformation and Growth’.

Held under the sponsorship of the Investment Promotion Agency Qatar (Invest Qatar) and the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the third annual forum aims to connect entrepreneurs and investors and enhance Qatar’s position as an investment hub, while enriching the entrepreneurial community and contribute to the growth and diversification of the national economy.

The forum also helps identify prominent global investment trends and the most promising opportunities across the service and industrial sectors.

Entrepreneurs face several challenges in finding investors and capital to support their projects. Through the forum and the bank’s investment function, QDB seeks to overcome these challenges by creating a collaborative space that will bring together entrepreneurs and investors with different backgrounds and interests. The forum was attended by more than 400 investors and business leaders in its previous edition.

First Virtual Investment Forum

This year, the forum will be held virtually for the first time, with participation of companies, angel investors, investment banks, venture capital companies, and business accelerators, in addition to individuals and enterprises interested in exploring business ventures across various sectors and stages of growth.

Investors will also learn more about start-ups through an integrated digital platform, which is the first of its kind in Qatar. The platform will be launched during the event and will provide investors with the opportunity to hold direct meetings with entrepreneurs and start-up owners and engage in in-depth discussions on potential investment opportunities that benefit all parties.

QDB CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa said that providing venture capital financing is one of the most important elements in the success of the entrepreneurship ecosystem, and for the third consecutive year, they are organising the forum to capture and assess lessons learned as well as offer promising opportunities to Qatari SME on one hand, and local investors and international partner funds on the other.

Through its QAR360 million venture capital fund, QDB is facilitating the success of entrepreneurs and SME, and in its first virtual edition, the forum presents a gainful opportunity for interested angel investors, business owners, entrepreneurs, and SME to explore the investment and venture capital landscape in the country, as well as learn more about the various projects and ventures they can take part in.

IPA Qatar CEO Sheikh Ali Alwaleed Al Thani said that against the backdrop of its economic resilience and rapid growth, Qatar’s investment landscape continues to offer investors a multitude of lucrative, sector-diverse opportunities to realise their ambitions and expand in the region.

As the strategic sponsor of the 3rd annual Investment Forum, we are delighted to join forces with QDB to further advance the investment ecosystem in Qatar and explore new avenues of growth for local and international companies.

This year’s edition of the Investment Forum is also a culmination of QDB’s accomplishments in the investment arena over the past years. QDB has launched a venture capital (VC) fund amounting to QAR365 million and has committed more than QAR220 million of investments in innovative seed and SME opportunities. Today, the bank has more than 30 companies in its portfolio and support is extended to all these companies.

QDB also launched the ‘Shareholders Loan’ product, under its Direct Lending Division to help finance SME listed under the umbrella of its SME Equity financing programme. The product aims to bridge the gap in short-term financing facilities for working capital requirements with a maximum of QAR7.5 million, and with a repayment period of up to three years, including a grace period of up to one year, as well as the option of converting credit into equity shares in the company.

According to Al Khalifa, QDB adopts a ‘customer journey’ approach and serve as the entrepreneur’s long-term partner and supporter from the idea stage, all the way to maturity and opening the horizon for export opportunities to regional and international markets. The CEO said they are also constantly working to connect with the most prominent investors so that entrepreneurs can continue to realise their business goals and ambitions.

The forum this year includes an interactive panel discussion, Conquering Challenges to Scale and Thrive; a special workshop on the Global FinTech Investment Landscape; and a live pitching session where a number of start-ups will be presenting their innovative ideas to investors towards raising capital to their entrepreneurial ventures.

The third annual Investment Forum comes on the heels of the success of the Qatar Entrepreneurship Conference 2020, which was also held virtually for the first time. Through such leading platforms, QDB continues to enrich the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Qatar, and support the country’s SME.

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