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Qatar Development Bank (QDB) yesterday announced the launch of the first of its kind ‘SME Toolkit’ to further strengthen the SME sector in Qatar. More than just offering financial services, the tool kit will provide a holistic solution to the entrepreneurs, said Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Development Bank; and Farah Al Kuwari, Statistics & Research Manager at the Bank.
Named as “SME Toolkit: Policies and Procedures Guidelines for SMEs owners” the solution offers entrepreneurs and SMEs all the relevant information on the governmental procedures and requirements during all stages of the business lifecycle, be it the planning or the execution stage or operational and expansion of the project such as the procedures for recruitment and export.
This Toolkit is the first of its kind because the SME community in Qatar and for the for the first time can use a single source to access and browse an online tool to find the relevant procedures and entities that they need to deal with to take their business forward. The tool takes the users through all the business phases, explaining the business documents needed and the relevant fees if any and the procedures they need to follow, the CEO said. The launch of the dedicated Toolkit follows QDB’s extensive interaction with the local SME’s during the last “Al Majlis for Entrepreneurs” forum, to understand the challenges and difficulties entrepreneurs come across during the various phases of their businesses.
Abdul Aziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa said: “QDB is committed to serve the nation’s local business community, the SME ecosystem and the economic sustainability. The role of QDB is not only to support and train entrepreneurs to transform ideas into projects, but also to finance their projects, support their growth and expansion, and help them reach local as well as global markets. By providing SMEs with access to vital information, we are optimistic that the SME Toolkit will help empower the local entrepreneurial community.”
Based on the feedback from entrepreneurs and SMEs in 2017, QDB developed the content of this guide, through a specialized legal office, with a coordinated effort with a number of governmental bodies and relevant ministries, as well as information obtained from other websites. The tool kit has been designed to guide entrepreneurs and SMEs to the procedures and policies to be adopted at different stages of development of a project, through a single source.
Farah Al-Kuwari said the SME tool kit is comprehensive and will cover all subsectors of SMEs, including micro, small and medium businesses. “All the procedures of QDB are connected with Qatar’s existing commercial laws. As we are not expecting common man to understand the legal language, we are seeking the support of an international consultancy, working with a legal firm, to simplify the relevant information”, she said.
Each ministry has its own procedures on their own platforms, but to make it easier for SMEs, QDB collected all the information and procedures in one online platform, which is the bank’s website. All information regarding the tool kit is available on QDB website.
QDB also kicked off the 4th “Al Majlis for Entrepreneurs” forum yesterday to discuss the latest challenges facing entrepreneurs in Qatar, and the main topic of the forum was to shed lights on how to access information from its right sources, and what services QDB is offering to overcome this challenge.
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