What is Bedaya's approach to promoting business and entrepreneurship in Qatar?
Our mandate is to push home businesses to become micro- and then medium-sized, and then expand to the point where they might even become corporate entities. At that point, Qatar Development Bank (QDB) assumes its role. Bedaya is a part of QDB and is really the start of the cycle. Bedaya has three main aspects to its services. First, we offer advisory and workshops, including one-on-one sessions, as each business is different. We deal with a wide variety of startups from IT to fashion, technology, sports, and tourism. The second main area of services we offer is Connect to Market, where we give new businesses a space to sell their products or services, such as handcrafts, artwork, and fashion, among others. We have three permanent marketplaces for our entrepreneurs to use, including a night market. In 2019 we will expand our markets into universities, where even students will be able to sell their products. For example, we have a contract with Al Meera supermarkets, where producers have the opportunity to sell their products, such as milk, juices, vegetables, and chocolates, to the nearest Al Meera from their house. We did not have this system in place before the blockade.
What notable projects or success stories have you helped start?
We started seven years ago and have worked with over 2,000 projects. Today, Bedaya has 16 full-time employees and 10 freelancers working on numerous projects. One project we are really proud of is a juice pressing business, Raw Me, which now operates a large production plant for health-conscience drinks.
How does Bedaya help young people develop their careers?
We help young people identify the career they would like to follow, thereby assisting in developing the Qatari economy. We also work with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education on a program called Compete, which guides young people on what major to choose. We then take the students to various workplaces, such as hospitals, so they can see the opportunities available to them in a particular field, such as medicine. ✖