Original Source: http://www.gulf-times.com, 6th March 2011
Enterprise Qatar , the newly established authority to develop and promote small and medium enterprises in Qatar, has announced the National Business Plan Competition-Al Fikra, in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University.
The launch was announced at an event held at Carnegie Mellon University campus and attended by the competition sponsors, Qatar University, College of the North Atlantic Qatar, Stenden University Qatar, VCU Qatar, ictQATAR, QDB, Qatari Businessmen Association as well as students and professionals interested in participating in the competition and professors and delegates representing the sponsors.
“The National Business Plan Competition Programme-Al Fikra, has been developed as a national tool to spot entrepreneurial talents, identify the opportunities and invest both time and resources to drive them in a constructive structured mechanism to a stage of self-sufficiency and independent growth,” a spokesperson said.
“We at Enterprise Qatar believe that the success and development of economies depend primarily on the health of a vibrant sector that taps onto the leadership, technical knowledge, business skills and focus of young entrepreneurs who are aspiring to succeed and achieve, and are willing to take risks,” said Noora al-Mannai, Enterprise Qatar deputy project director.
“The various distinct problems that the SMEs and entrepreneurs face mandate that any attempt to tackle such problems should be a product of bundling various support services that are of financial, developmental and technical nature. By the end of the competition, the creative ideas will be entitled to exceptional coaching and mentorship opportunities as well as incubations provided by Enterprise Qatar.”
Al Fikra aims to provide an integrative learning experience for those involved. It is a national competition to attract promising initiatives that will shape Qatar’s future. Undergraduates, graduates, students, professionals and entrepreneurs are invited to live this experience.
Dr George M White, associate teaching professor of Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University said: “Carnegie Mellon University believes that entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of modern economies. It is the way out of poverty for the poor; it is way to rejuvenate mature economies; it is a way for Qatar to become a knowledge-based economy; and it is the way for young people throughout Qatar to change the world.”
Over the course of the next three months, the participants will learn to articulate their new business ideas into a proposal through tutoring and coaching sessions on how to develop the plan, draft an executive summary, build the financial statements, and present the business pitch.
By the end of the three months, these creative business plans will be reviewed by a panel of entrepreneurs and experts who will determine their viability. Top business plans will receive funding opportunities, incubation plus mentorship.
Eligibility requirements, judging criteria and key dates for the competition are all available on the website.
Interested applicants can submit their plans via the official websitewww.alfikra.me.