Qatar Shell said it will integrate four local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) into its supply chain as it stressed that partnerships with local businesses “foster entrepreneurship at all levels.”
The four SMEs will sign contracts with Qatar Shell and Qatar Development Bank (QDB) tomorrow in an awarding ceremony – the fourth one since QDB and Qatar Shell partnered to launch the ‘SME Business Opportunities’ programme.
“The impact of this initiative is far more valuable than the value of the contracts on their own,” Amro Ahmed, Qatar Shell Commercial Excellence & Local Content and SME Manager at Qatar Shell, told Gulf Times.
He added: “We provide local companies with access to specific business opportunities, while at the same time assisting them to raise their operating and quality standards to meet Shell’s global standards.
“This helps them compete globally, which diversifies and strengthens Qatar’s economy, in line with Qatar Shell’s goal of delivering sustainable impact in support of the Qatar National Vision 2030.”
The four contracts to be signed will bring the total number of agreements to 18 under the initiative. The 19th contract is slated to be signed in a few weeks, he said.
The four SMEs will have up to 18 months to raise their technical and quality assurance capabilities to Shell’s global standard. For its part, QDB offers access to funding, business advisory support, and local regulatory and support institutions, as well as links to potential strategic partners to enable the businesses to compete on a global level.
Ahmed said SMEs are “an increasingly visible part of Qatar’s growth,” contributing nearly 20% of the overall economy and employing nearly 100,000 people.
While the SME awarding ceremony rewards adult Qatari entrepreneurs, he said the Enterprise Challenge Qatar (ECQ) provides the next generation of local business leaders the opportunity to demonstrate their skills.
ECQ is a business simulation competition run in secondary schools and universities nationwide by Bedaya and Qatar Shell.
The programme consists of an ethical business challenge to test the participants’ ability to balance the economic, environmental, and social performance of their company; a business simulation element to familiarises students with general business such as finance, sales, and production; and the business pitch, a recent addition in which participants present their ideas to a panel of judges.
Last year, a team from Ahmed bin Hanbal Boys School won for a project that involved planting crops on school premises and selling them to the canteen as fresh ingredients. In the university competition, the winner from the College of the North Atlantic-Qatar (CNA-Q) created an online mobile application that connects amateur footballers with other players.
Ali Reyad al-Ansari, media relations manager at Qatar Shell, said: “At Qatar Shell, we recognise that cultivating and nurturing entrepreneurship begins with another kind of investment – in young minds.
“Therefore, providing students with business skills and the practical tools to ultimately succeed in a real business environment is of crucial importance to fulfil the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030.”
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