In 2013 Enterprise Qatar, MITEF, Silatech, and Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, launched Al Fikra Qatar's Business Plan Competition, a joint initiative to educate entrepreneurs. Various partners and sponsors from the academic and business associations and community in Qatar were included as key stakeholders in the process. In 2013 the competition attracted 127 applicants from both professional and academic communities. And most recently in 2019, the competition attracted over 560 applicants who were filtered to 100 participants that submitted 45 business plans.
Alfikra competition’s 2020 version is more enhanced to serve the entrepreneurial ecosystem through entrepreneurship trainings to all participants as well as different financial and non-financial services granted to winner, both of which are provided and supported by Qatar Development Bank.
Al Fikra National Business Competition is an educational competition designed for Qatari led Start-ups and entrepreneurs, enabling them to develop business ideas that can be turned into successful private value-adding businesses. That is accomplished through providing the participants with a series of training that equip them with the knowledge and skills to be able to conceptualize and develop their business ideas, and by providing the winners of the competition with financial and non-financial grants that allow them to start their businesses.
The program will run over a 4-months period from August until November 2020. During this period, creative and innovative ideas will be recognized, developed and supported by Qatar Development Bank and its strategic partners throughout the different stages of their development.
Al Fikra Business Competition is designed to encourage the establishment of new companies and foster a culture of entrepreneurship in Qatar and it aims to:
There are 3 Categories in Al Fikra 2020, the categories and their prizes are as follows:
The “Challenges” Category: This category features current challenges that fall under four sectors: Digital, Healthcare, Education, and Industrial. Participants under this category must innovate business ideas that solve the challenges.
The “Startup” Category: This category invites teams to participate with any business ideas they have, which can fall under any sector. (Food and Beverage sector is not included).
The “Mashrouie” Category: This category targets university teams that have previously participated in university entrepreneurship competitions and are nominated to represent their universities and compete in Al Fikra National Business Competition 2020.
A committee of (5) Evaluators from the Business Community and Qatar Development Bank and the official partners will be dedicated to evaluating the business ideas and the applicants of Al Fikra participants. The ideas will be evaluated on the following elements: