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sme rating and ACCREDITATION​

BRIEF ABOUT THE SERVICE

Our SME Rating and Accreditation program provides guidance to enterprises on how to improve and develop their businesses.

It is an independent, third-party validation and accreditation service that provides Qatari SMEs with subsidized professional consultancy services.​ ​

What are the objectives of SRA?

  • Foster business partnerships between local SMEs and local buyer contractors
  • Institute a robust model for the SME Rating and Accreditation system to enhance access to finance for SMEs and strengthen business credentials for registration and pre-qualification with large buyers
  • Deploy a credible framework to assess and evaluate SMEs intending to execute government, semi-government and private entity contracts
  • Assist local SMEs in developing and enhancing their existing business to achieve sustainability and competitiveness to improve their business

WHAT IS RATING?

Rating is a comprehensive analysis of the business and entails an assessment of the business model, the promoter and management, industry and financials.

WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF A RATING CERTIFICATE?

A Rating Certificate is an indicator of the probability of business success and is valid for one year from the date of issue. The Rating Certificate is given on a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the best and 5 needing improvement in the business).

HOW IS RATING MEASURED?

The following four areas are looked at in detail:

  • Management
  • Industry
  • Business model
  • Finance

WHAT IS ACCREDITATION?

Accreditation is an evaluation of the ‘Contract Execution Capabilities of the Business’.

There are five different variants of Accreditation, depending on the type of contract:

  • Manufacturing
  • Supply
  • Basic services
  • Technical services
  • Construction
  • Financial standing
  • Quality management
  • Commitment

An Accreditation Certificate will be given only when an SME receives a 1 or 2 rating (the two highest scores).

HOW IS ACCREDITATION MEASURED?

SMEs are accredited based on the below parameters:

  • Business capabilities
  • Past experience and track record
  • Credibility and business reputation
  • Health and safety

HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR THE SME RATING AND ACCREDITATION SERVICE?

To be eligible for the SME Rating and Accreditation, an enterprise must meet the following criteria:

  • Compan​y type
    • A commercial, for-profit enterprise, engaged in value-added economic activity in Qatar
    • Based in Qatar with a minimum 51% of Qatari shareholding
    • Qualifying as an SME as per the official Qatar SME definition
  • Existence in Qatar
    • In existence in Qatar for a minimum period of 2 years at the time of application
    • Holding a valid Commercial Registration number in Qatar
  • Willingness to share information
    • Willing to disclose financial statements of the past 2 years for the purpose of screening as well as performance evaluation. Unaudited financial statements will be considered for assessment; However, enterprises with audited financial statements will be given preference in the SME Rating and Accreditation
    • Once shortlisted for evaluation, the enterprise will be required to participate in interviews and site visits. They will also be required to furnish additional documents to support and validate the discussions during/after the site visits
  • Eligibility
    • Up to 50% grant is offered only for SME Rating Certification. The accreditation will not have any grants
    • Qatari entrepreneurs may receive a grant support for the rating service for a firm in which they are a registered owner, and the grant will be limited to 1 per year per entrepreneur. Additional use of Rating and Accreditation services may be allowed without QDB support. For Rating, any SME that fits the QDB definition of an SME and has been in operation for 2 years is eligible. Startups and businesses without a Commercial Registration cannot apply. For Accreditation: Only SMEs rated 1 or 2 will be eligible

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF AN SRA CERTIFICATION?

An SRA Certification offers three exemption services to SMEs

  • Tender bid bond exemption
  • Performance bond exemption
  • Advance Payment guarantee exemption

PARTICIPATION TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

  • Holding companies are not eligible for participation, but subsidiaries can participate, provided they have proper Commercial Registration in Qatar individually​
  • If the subsidiary participates, it must follow the thresholds laid out in the Qatar SME definition
  • Trade, real estate, contracting, building, construction, government and non-profit entities are not eligible for participation.
  • Enterprises which are a branch of a foreign company or a franchise of an international brand are not eligible for participation
  • SMEs which have a direct / indirect investment from a QDB employee are not eligible for participation
  • SMEs should display a distinct value-added benefit to the economy
  • SMEs with a favorable Credit Bureau Report shall be given due consideration for short-listing. SMEs with an adverse Credit Bureau Report might not be considered for further evaluations
  • By entering the SME rating process, the SME agrees to be contacted by the independent third-party evaluator approved by QDB
  • The Technical Panel reserves the right to relax / modify the qualification criteria

HOW TO OBTAIL AN SME RATING AND ACCREDITION:

There are 7 steps for SRA Certification:

  • SME registers with QDB
  • QDB completes the technical verification of the SME and accepts the application
  • QDB-approved service provider (third-party) Visits the SME to complete the rating assessment as per the QDB SRA model​
  • QDB validates and evaluates the assessment report and issues the Rating Certificate
  • SMEs rated 3, 4 or 5 will be recommended to various business improvement services offered by QDB
  • SMEs rated with 1 or 2 will be recommended for an Accreditation Certificate which will be handled by another third-party for further assessment as per the QDB SRA model
  • QDB validates and evaluates the assessment report and issues the Accreditation Certificate​

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