The 20,000 square meter Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) – the largest business incubator facility in the Middle East – was launched in Doha’s industrial area today, Monday 10 March 2014.

The mixed use incubator is part of a wider public and government push to support and encourage Qatari entrepreneurs to build and grow businesses. QBIC was founded by two of Qatar’s leading government institutions supporting local entrepreneurs: Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and the Social Development Center (SDC), member of Qatar Foundation. QBIC’ goal is to develop the next QR100 million companies and success stories in Qatar. QBIC empowers entrepreneurs to start and grow companies through training, mentorship, incubation, networking and investment.

Chairman of QBIC and Chief Executive Officer of QDB, Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa, said:

Qatar Development Bank believes that with the launch of QBIC comes a new milestone for entrepreneurship and the Qatari economy. I believe we are witnessing a transformation, providing entrepreneurs the resources needed to turn dreams into reality.’

QBIC’s objectives include developing Qatari companies through promotion of entrepreneurship and best-in-class business ethics, helping create Qatar’s next-generation of successful entrepreneurs, business leaders, start-ups and scale-ups.

QDB is a financial entity fully owned by the government, set up by an Emiri Decree to invest in and develop local industries by supporting small and medium enterprises in Qatar. In addition to providing financial aid, the bank also offers advisory support and guidance to small and medium enterprises regarding start up, growth and expansion of their activities, aiming to establish a sustainable economic system.

QBICExecutive Director of Social Development Center (SDC), Amal Al Mannai, said:

It was SDC’s honour to have the initiative to adopt the entrepreneurship programme within the youth and women societies towards encouraging them into production and business development, particularly startup and scale-up projects. We believe that these projects will strengthen the national economy, enhance income and build a better lifestyle for Qataris.’

‘The entrepreneurship programme has been initiated in 2001 and continued on a consistent growth and development pace accordingly with an accumulative scientific vision to include all technical and material support at the entire programme phases. The programme has provided services included entrepreneurship promotional campaign, encouragement, required training on local and international market feasibilities, emergency and technical consultations and follow up.’

‘QBIC has been established with a budget that exceeds QR100 million. It has been designed by implementing a modern and scientific benchmark to fulfill entrepreneurs’ demands, office space, industrial workshops, and administrative and technical support. This qualifies QBIC to play an essential role to develop Qatar business sector.’

As part of Qatar Foundation, SDC is a nonprofit, social and development organisation that focuses on supporting low-income families and community projects in Qatar. It was established in 1996 under the patronage of HH Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, the consort of HH the Emir of Qatar who is the Chairperson of Qatar Foundation. SDC has a longstanding commitment to bringing Qatari women into the workforce and establishing career counseling for Qatari high school and university students.

Chief Executive Officer of QBIC, Raed Al Emadi, said:

Our mission is to develop Qatari companies valued at QR100 million. QBIC provides incubator space for entrepreneurs and scale-ups to carry out their work with their teams. In addition, we provide balanced training courses that enrich both knowledge and expertise.’

As starting of operations, QBIC was keen to conduct the first batch of lean startup training for the first time in Qatar. The training was held for all entrepreneurs whom have applied to QBIC through QBIC’s website and were shortlisted. The training is run by Professor Lee charm from Babson College in the US – rated number one entrepreneurship teaching university worldwide – along with trainers from QBIC.