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Doha, November 10 (QNA) – The Executive Director of Strategy and Business Development at Qatar Development Bank, Farha Ahmed Al Kuwari praised the great contributions of the Qatari small and medium-sized companies, supported by the Bank, in supporting the projects of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which included the contribution of Qatari companies in making stadium chairs that will host sports competitions.

Al Kuwari said in an interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA) that the contributions also included the construction of stadium structures, outdoor lighting, infrastructure projects for the World Cup in stadiums and metro stations, stadium control panels from video, audio and lighting and even in the field of technology and sports entertainment. Qatari companies also contributed in weeding stadiums and decorating outdoor gardens for stadiums, in addition to its contribution to the field of multiple services.

In another context, the Executive Director revealed that the total volume of direct and indirect financing of the bank since its inception to the end of the third quarter of this year amounted to 7.3 billion Qatari riyals.

The bank has financed more than 870 clients through several financing programs and services, and direct investments in small and medium-sized companies exceeded 130 million Qatari riyals, while the total volume of investments in the banks portfolio reached 225 million Qatari riyals, with the support of nearly 100 companies.

Al Kuwari said that the bank contributed to the access of the projects it financed to global markets. This is done through Qatar Export Development and Promotion Agency ‘Tasdeer’, which is the banks export arm, noting that the volume of exports to the banks clients last year exceeded the one billion Qatari riyals (1.1 billion) barrier, with a growth rate of 50 % compared to 2020.

The growth in the volume of exports is still positive until this year, and the number of beneficiaries of “Tasdeer” services reached 445 companies up to the third quarter of this year, in addition to the launch of the Go Global Program last year, in which the first batch achieved 300 export opportunities at a value of 47.7 million Qatari riyals.

She pointed to supporting clients in two areas: developing exports by providing a variety of services and initiatives to enhance their capabilities to export, in addition to promoting exports by preparing bilateral meetings between Qatari exporters and importers, as well as supporting exporters to participate in regional and international exhibitions.

The sectors that received the largest share of support are the industry and services sectors, in addition to education, health and the tourism sector.

The Executive Director added that Qatar Development Bank is unique in a comprehensive and integrated support system that supports the entrepreneur in all stages of his project, starting from the pre-project stage such as the idea through the period of establishing the project and its operation to expansion and growth, explaining that the bank works through three main pillars: access to financing from By providing various packages of direct and indirect financing options, developing capabilities and developing the capabilities of entrepreneurs by providing various and comprehensive advisory and training programs and initiatives, and finally supporting entrepreneurs in expansion and growth by helping them access markets in Qatar and abroad.

Al Kuwari said that the number of beneficiaries of the workshops and training until the third quarter of this year amounted to 684, while the total number of participants and attendance was more than 5200 participants in the current year only.

The bank manages various business incubators and accelerators in specialized fields.

The number of incubated and accelerator companies since its launch has reached more than 700 companies until the third quarter of this year, in addition to providing various advisory services such as auditing, consulting, and preparing contracts, in addition to marketing services, which benefited more from of 200 clients this year, she added.

Al Kuwari emphasized the Bank’s role in supporting entrepreneurs by facilitating their access to market information to help them make successful investment decisions, through the issuance of studies, reports and processing and other studies available through our website.

There are several directions for the bank, all of which focus on achieving the vision, as the bank continues to focus and benefit from the enormous potential of the creative and innovative system of entrepreneurship in the country, work to develop it to create its own imprint on the global map, achieve sustainability in line with the banks strategy and Qatar National Vision and support Environmentally friendly projects in the national business system, she said.

The Executive Director mentioned several initiatives undertaken by the Bank, such as launching the Model Factory Program, which enhances and develops the capabilities of Qatari manufacturers, the launch of a digitalization and technology solutions financing product to help small and medium-sized companies in their digital transformation process, the launch of the advanced industry platform in the State of Qatar in cooperation with the World Economic Forum, in addition to making updates to Al Dhameen program for small and medium-sized companies, most notably providing a guarantee of 100 % of the value of the project and the launch of Al Dhameen Micro-enterprise Program.

Executive Director of Strategy and Business Development at Qatar Development Bank (QDB) Farha Ahmed Al Kuwari highlighted that the previous years showcased the importance of digital transformation for the growth and development of the economy. QDB is on a digital transformation journey as a development financial institution that deals with a wide range of entrepreneurs.

The bank has launched a set of platforms and digital solutions, including the first investment platform of its kind in Qatar, a digital procurement platform for government and non-governmental contracts, an integrated platform for all small and medium-sized companies, and providing options for obtaining remote advisory services.

The bank also offers a financing program for digitization and digital transformation solutions for companies wishing to digitally transform or enhance their digital capabilities and services, in addition to the banks internal digital transformation through the Qatar Digital Bank portal to speed up all operational procedures and help improve the experience of all customers, she explained.

Regarding the bank’s next phase, Al Kuwari said that they are a governmental institution with a development strategy. The bank works according to the needs of the market through continuous communication with entrepreneurs to know the most important challenges they face to provide solutions.

QDB is keen that the support it provides includes all production and service fields and many sectors. Of course, there are priority sectors such as the industrial sector, services, education, health care, and financing livestock, fisheries, and agriculture.

The bank always tries to focus on the entrepreneurial mindset more than the field itself, as the entrepreneurs are knowledgeable and can provide innovative and creative solutions regardless of their field of work, she added.

The Executive Director explained that the challenges facing entrepreneurs change according to the nature of the companies work.

The bank is keen to overcome challenges from the companies’ early stages, whether through feasibility studies, or testing the products they will offer in the market.

Al Kuwari stressed the industrial renaissance that the national economy witnessed in several areas, the most important of which is self-sufficiency.

Qatari product has proven their ability to meet the needs of the market, and even compete in global markets. The national business system is strong and competitive, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic and the rapid digital transformation that swept all the businesses in Qatar.

Al Kuwari considered that the failure of projects is one of the most important factors affecting the performance of projects that may lead to large losses.

QDB is in constant contact with its customers, following up on the performance of their funded projects to find solutions to the problems facing companies before reaching the stage of failure. Additionally, struggling projects can benefit from the services of the Eyada program, which is concerned with supporting faltering companies by appointing experts to identify weaknesses in the company, suggest appropriate solutions, and help the company in implementing these solutions.

The program also offers a guidance consulting service, through which the entrepreneur can book a session with one of QDB’s experts to guide them towards taking the right next step.

The Executive Director of the Bank touched upon their role in social responsibility, explaining that all the Bank’s initiatives fall into the field of social responsibility, as a development financial institution whose mission is to support the private sector in the State of Qatar, implicitly supporting the country’s economy that supports the stability and development of society.

She said that some programs and projects have a direct impact on the economy, such as loans provided by the Bank to micro-enterprises, which include household projects. QDB supports food security initiatives by providing financing packages specialized in supporting agricultural projects, fisheries, and livestock. Additionally, it supports young entrepreneurs through competitions, cooperating with educational institutions in initiatives to promote a culture of entrepreneurship among students, and a step program for training and qualifying retirees.

(QNA)

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