Al Fikra National Business Plan competition finals
Rushika Bhatia

Al Fikra National Business Plan competition finals

In the presence of HE Sheikh Jassim Bin Abdulaziz Bin Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Minister of Business and Trade in Qatar, six entrepreneurs have won a total of QAR 200,000 towards making their business dreams a reality in an action-packed final to this year’s inaugural “Al Fikra” Business Plan Competition.

Organised by Enterprise Qatar, in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, College of the North Atlantic-Qatar, Qatar University, Stenden University and Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, as well as the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR), the Qatari Businessmen Association (QBA) and Qatar Development Bank (QDB), more than 230 entrants battled it out for a place in the finals, which were held on May 23rd at the Intercontinental Hotel in Doha.

Enterprise Qatar was also helped by the global management and strategy consulting firm, Booz & Company, which provided invaluable support to the AlFikra contest by conducting business plan writing and financial forecasting coaching sessions for entrants.

In the professional category, a Qatari team took first place, and QAR 50,000, with their plan for “DinoSawUs”. In second place, and taking home QAR 30,000, was the “Pregnant & Pretty” team, while the “Entalek” idea secured QAR 20,000 and third place. The prizes in the professional category were provided by QDB.

Al Fikra National Business Plan competition finals
Winners with their winning cheques after the competition

The same cash awards, provided by QBA, were awarded in the student category, where the first prize went to “ConnectMe”, while “Radical Sports – Qatar” and “AlDallah” took second and third places.

Other big ideas that made it through to the final were “Qatfish”, a proposal to establish a fish farm in Qatar and “Qatar Educational Portal”, an idea to create an online community portal for Qatari students. The response from the business and academic community has been so encouraging that Enterprise Qatar has confirmed Al Fikra will now be an annual event.

Ms Noora Al Mannai, Deputy Project Director of Enterprise Qatar, said: “We’re extremely pleased with the exceptional success of Al Fikra. We would like to extend our thanks to His Excellency Sheikh Jassim Bin AbdulAziz Bin Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Minister of Business and Trade for his patronage of the competition.”

“Al Fikra, which will be held annually from now on, is a direct result of the enthusiasm and passion of our partners who helped us to achieve such success. Finally, we stress that Enterprise Qatar and all the organizations that participated as sponsors of AlFikra will remain ready to provide all the resources necessary for entrepreneurs to achieve their potential”, added Ms Al Mannai.

Al Fikra directly supports the objectives of Enterprise Qatar; an initiative intended to promote and sustain small and mid-sized enterprises in Qatar and encourage innovation throughout the country. For Enterprise Qatar, organising a business plan competition serves as a mechanism to engage the people of Qatar in entrepreneurial activity.