Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al-Khalifa sees cooperation with academia as a key to supporting aspiring entrepreneurs
DOHA, QATAR February 01, 2018: Qatar Development Bank’s Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al-Khalifa stated that collaborations with academic institutions like Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q) improve the services and support available to aspiring entrepreneurs in Qatar. Al-Khalifa, who is CEO of Qatar Development Bank (QDB), was speaking at CMU-Q as a part of the Dean’s Lecture Series, a forum for leaders in business and government to discuss issues that affect the future of Qatar and the world.
Al-Khalifa discussed the role of competitions like Al Fikra, QDB’s national business plan competition that is organized in collaboration with CMU-Q. He noted, “CMU-Q played an integral role in ensuring this business plan competition was launched in Qatar. With the support of CMU-Q, we are able to merge academia with the real business needs in Qatar to solve the challenges facing the public sector.” The sixth annual Al Fikra competition was announced in December.
Michael Trick, dean of CMU-Q, commented: “As the opportunities for entrepreneurs in Qatar grow, we find our students and alumni increasingly look to entrepreneurship as a viable career option. These startups need nurturing and support now—and the QDB is a leader in this area—but these businesses can become the engine that drives the Qatar economy.”
Al-Khalifa discussed how the QDB’s efforts to diversify Qatar’s economy focus primarily on supporting local SMEs: “Today, we have around 25,000 private sector establishments, 97 percent of which are SMEs, so the role of QDB in enhancing the participation of SMEs and entrepreneurs in the market is of immense importance.”