Posted on May 09, 2017

In an effort to promote a diverse range of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Qatar Development Bank (QDB), in cooperation with Qatar Chamber, announced the launch of its first edition of the "Made at Home” exhibition in a joint press conference. Scheduled for 1 – 5 October 2017, the expo is being held under the patronage of Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

The upcoming exhibition is part of a broader SME outreach program, the Home-based Business National Program (HBBNP), which was launched by the development bank in 2015 to stimulate the private sector through facilitating the entry of a greater variety of SMEs into the local economy. With the launch of the latest expo – “Made at Home” – QDB aims to develop the capabilities of Qatari home entrepreneurs by offering them a unique opportunity to display and sell their products, create new marketing windows, exchange experiences with other home-based entrepreneurs involved in a wide range of specialized fields, promote local products, and encourage new entrepreneurial pursuits.

Commenting on the event, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), QDB, Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al-Khalifa said: "Through our latest exhibition for home-based businesses, we now reach a more diverse range of SMEs than ever before. Our ‘Made at Home’ exhibition introduces the public to an important group of businesses – the home-based business industry – with whom they previously may have had only limited contact.” He continued: “Around the world, home-based businesses are active contributors to economies, and at QDB, we believe that we can help Qatari home-based businesses overcome the typical challenges entrepreneurs face while entering the market by arranging promotional exhibitions that highlight their products and services. We are confident that our maiden home-based industry exhibition signals the beginning of a new era of prosperity for local home-based businesses in Qatar.”

Exhibition organizers, QDB and Qatar Chamber, encourage exhibitory participation by local home-based businesses operating across all sectors, provided they conform to the regulations stipulated by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC). Director General, Qatar Chamber, Saleh Hamad Al-Sharqi said: "The cooperation between Qatar Chamber and Qatar Development Bank is a testament of our commitment to support home-based businesses and their products. At Qatar Chamber, it is part of our strategy to support hard-working, productive families, who wish to make the most of their natural talents and contribute positively to the national economy.

“Through this exhibition, we help home-based business owners introduce their products to the local market. In the past, we have successfully helped many other SMEs participate in a number of exhibitions, such as Made in Qatar, Made in China and Expo Turkey. “The idea of this exhibition stems from the successful participation of home-based business owners in the last edition of Made in Qatar. Productive families are an important part of the national economy as well as a true starting point and nucleus for the indigenous SME industry that we aim to develop.”

Participation in the exhibition "Made at Home" is subject to certain controls, such as the condition that the home-based business owner holds a Qatari nationality as well as a valid business license or commercial registration. Furthermore, the products exhibited must meet the quality criteria and packaging standards set by the exhibition organizers. Importantly, all products must be locally-produced, as exported products are not within the scope of this exhibition.

The upcoming expo to promote home-based business projects comes as the latest in a series of initiatives that QDB has undertaken to promote an ever-widening range of SMEs. In 2015, QDB had initiated a research project entitled "Home-based Business Projects: Realities and Improvement Mechanisms,” in cooperation with Social Development Center (SDC) and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA). The study explored alternative feasible policies to improve the quality of homemade products and services and searched for methods to achieve greater promotion of home-based business projects in Qatar, in line with the private sector objectives stated in Qatar National Vision 2030.

To this end, a survey of 535 home-based business owners was carried out, and the nature of their projects, their problems and their needs were carefully identified and studied. Additionally, the research project analyzed the experiences of 10 regional and international pilot home-based businesses to draw lessons that could be subsequently mapped onto the local home-based business industry. Moreover, two workshops with home-based business owners were also conducted in which recommendations were sought and discussions were held between entrepreneurs and appropriate authorities.

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