Gulf entrepreneurs praised the radical changes taking place in the region’s markets and the great development that startups and medium-sized companies have achieved in a short period of time in terms of entrepreneurship, keeping up with the technological revolution and keeping up with the concept of digitization.
They were speaking at a panel discussion titled “GCC Entrepreneurs: Middle Eastern Unicorns,” of the Qatar Economic Forum. They advocated for the expansion of efforts to build entrepreneurial skills, including business incubators and accelerators, and finance facilities with the aim to enable owners of small and medium-sized firms to expand locally and in the Gulf and enter new markets.
They emphasised the significance of working to improve the business environment and to teach the next generation entrepreneurial skills by offering a comprehensive set of programmes and opportunities that enable them to enter the field, qualify them to start establishing their projects, and then contribute to the development of the sector, support the competitiveness and diversification of the national and Gulf economies.
Raed Ventures founding partner Omar Almajdouie said GCC startups have seen unprecedented growth since 2014. He said that investing in talent and professional skills enhanced entrepreneurs’ skills and impact, leading to massive growth for startups that many are noticing. He said that further promoting entrepreneurial work in the Gulf Cooperation Council requires opening up export markets and working to attract new investors to revitalize start-ups and provide them with fresh liquidity, and commended Qatar’s efforts in this regard.
For his part, founder and CEO of Snoonu, Hamad al-Hajri said that entrepreneurship is a relatively new concept for the Gulf Cooperation Council as the region is rich in oil and gas, which in turn makes it possible for anyone to work in the government sector.
However, he emphasized that recently there has been a surge in the number of start-ups, especially in the technology sector. He said that Qatar produces 5,000 graduates each year and that the private sector is now in dire need of entrepreneurial companies that will take on these graduates and provide them with decent job opportunities.