A.T. Kearney highlights top GCC rank in entrepreneurship workshop in Qatar

19 July 2018 Consultancy-me.com 3 min. read
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The Qatar Development Bank has hosted a workshop on the opportunities and challenges for the local startup sector, with a presentation by A.T. Kearney highlighting the nation’s top GCC ranking on the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Index.

Coinciding with the release of a report outlining Qatar’s capacity to offer a ‘strong entrepreneurship ecosystem,” the Qatar Development Bank (QDB) has hosted the ‘National Incubation Strategy’ workshop in Doha for an assembly of stakeholders in the development of small and medium-sized local enterprises – with the aim of defining new incubation programmes to facilitate further progress.

Reinforcing the potential of the local market, Abdo al-Habr, a manager at A.T. Kearney based out of Beirut (with the global strategy firm adding a Qatari office in 2014), delivered a presentation on Qatar’s leading rank for the GCC on the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Index – an annual index compiled by development research and policy agency The GEDI Institute, which seeks to promote the links between entrepreneurship, economic development, and individual and societal prosperity.

The Global Entrepreneurship Index assesses a range of factors indicative of the strength of a nation’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, arriving at an overall percentage tally and international ranking. Covering 137 countries worldwide, Qatar was ultimately ranked at 22nd globally with a score of 55%, placing it ahead of the UAE in 26th spot (53%), as well Oman (47%), Bahrain (45%) and Kuwait (43%), which all placed in the top 40, and a trailing Saudi Arabia which landed in at 45th with a score of 40%.

Entrepreneurship rankings for Middle East and North Africa

Yet, despite the nation’s impressive appraisal on the entrepreneurial index, al-Habr noted that there was still room for improvement – particularly in the areas of ‘start up skills’ (88th on the index) and ‘technology absorption’ (54th), with the 2017 index report stating that an uptick in these domains would boost Qatar’s ranking to 12th worldwide – indicating, according to al-Habr, the ‘greater role potential for incubators.’

Where Qatar does perform exceptionally well, is in the index pillars of ‘high growth’, risk capital’ and ‘cultural support’ – aptly demonstrated by the initiatives of the Qatar Development Bank in launching the National Incubation Strategy 2018-2022, as an effort to help drive the development of Qatar’s incubation ecosystem and support greater entrepreneurship and creation of local start-ups. As a three-phase strategy, the workshop represents the second step in the process; determining incubation improvement objectives and the roles of sector stakeholders.

The first phase was described by QDB executive director of Advisory Services and Incubation Ibrahim al-Mannai as a research endeavour to examine international benchmarks and best practices relevant to Qatar, along with the identification of gaps and areas of potential in the Qatari start-up sector, with the next objective planned for later this year being to implement a roll-out of the incubation support programmes derived and developed in response to the information gathered through the preliminary stages.

“This strategy was designed as a direct result of rigorous studies that indicated the available opportunities in the various economic sectors in the Qatari market and to identify ways to transform gaps into opportunities through innovative projects, which works on implementing and execute innovative ideas that benefit all the sector sectors in the country,” the CEO of QDB, Abdullaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa, said in a speech, describing the workshop as a ‘first-of-its-kind in the region.”