Posted on November 16, 2018

In its strides to continuously keep motivating the efforts made by SMEs in the growth of the national economy, Qatar Development Bank (QDB), in collaboration with Qatar Chamber and Qatar Exchange, honored top 50 SMEs at a glittering ceremony held at St. Regis hotel on November 14, 2018.

During the second edition of the SME Excellence List 2018, the awards were presented to these deserving SMEs under the patronage of H.E Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, in the presence of H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani, Governor of Qatar Central Bank (QCB) and Chairman of Qatar Development Bank (QDB); Mr. Saleh bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Qatar Chamber Director-General; and Mr. Rashid Bin Ali Al Mansoori, CEO of Qatar Stock Exchange, along with other distinguished and eminent guests from across state ministries, diplomatic missions and leading organizations in Qatar.

This is the second edition of the biennial project, which debuted in the year 2016. The event aims to highlight the contribution of these SMEs in making Qatar’s economic growth and development, and create a culture of adoption of best practices and business excellence in terms of quality, audited financials, governance, management structure, and many other factors, in a competitive environment within the local business community. SME Excellence List serves as a valuable platform for entrepreneurs, to showcase their achievements as well as their outstanding and innovative efforts in managing their business. It was an arduous task to select the best in class top 50 companies from among the companies who participated in the second edition of the program.

QDB honors top 50 SMEs at 2 [].jpg

On presenting these prestigious awards, Mr. Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al-Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Development Bank, said: “With the ‘SME Excellence List’, we aim to empower the SMEs of Qatar and offer them a much wider platform to showcase their potential to the industry at large. SMEs have always been a crucial source of economic growth of Qatar and this endeavor channelizes their performance in the right direction and is in sync with the Qatar National Vision 2030. The success of the maiden event, which was held in the year 2016, enhanced our confidence to deliver yet another impactful event this year and we are extremely elated to inform you that this has been a bigger & better event for us with a large number of SMEs coming forward and participating in the event.”

From his part, Mr. Rashid Ali Al-Mansoori CEO of Qatar Stock Exchange, said: “We are confident of the important role that SME's play in achieving the economic growth and in providing job opportunities, in line with QNV 2030. We are also pleased to collaborate with Qatar Development Bank in a unified communications strategy to promote a culture of transparency and competitiveness in the economic sector, to unlock the SMEs capabilities and adopt the highest international quality standards, with the aim of enabling them to compete locally, regionally and internationally. Therefore, we will provide support to the companies that are selected in this edition of SME Excellence List to be listed on the Qatar Exchange.”

From his end, Mr. Saleh bin Hamad Al-Sharqi, Director General of Qatar Chamber, said: “Qatar Chamber is keen to support SMEs and improve their performance to effectively take part in the development of the national economy, and we are working closely with all institutions that reaffirms united efforts towards building and promoting a culture of entrepreneurship in Qatar. The Chamber will support the companies listed in this year's edition of the SME Excellence List organized by QDB, by promoting its products either through facilitating their participation in local and international exhibitions and conferences, or through meetings held by the Chamber with foreign trade delegations inside and outside Qatar.”

QDB honors top 50 SMEs at 3 [].jpg

The evaluation criteria, adopted by QDB, for determining the 50 top finalists for the SME Excellence List 2018 included: financial performance, rates of staff development and retention, the local supply chain management, innovation and use of technology, integrity and transparency, application of quality standards and certifications, and finally, commitment to environmental protection in terms of waste management and compliance with environmental legislation. These criteria indicate the enormous strides made by the Qatari economy in developing the SMEs performance level each year.

Al-Khalifa further said: “During the screening process, young and aspiring entrepreneurs from small and medium-sized businesses were invited to vigorously participate in this program and take advantage of the initial assessments that will help them identify the weaknesses their businesses face in order to address them properly and perform better. Through the SME Excellence List Program, we intend to stimulate the entrepreneurs’ creativity and perseverance to prove their companies’ values and ability to compete at all levels, locally, regionally and even internationally by adopting the highest quality of standards and following best international practices. This year, 50 companies of outstanding performance were selected to be included in the SME Excellence List, after witnessing 86% increase in its total revenues compared to 2016. Besides, the program has seen 40% increase in the number of applications compared to previous edition, which indicates the interest of the SME sector in this program. It is also noted that 28% of the top 50 SMEs operates in the export sector, which receives great attention from QDB in line with the country's development plans.”

The SME Excellence List ranking program serves as an important incubator for SMEs, which allows them to showcase their products and services and contribute to the success of their businesses. The Program also honors small and medium-sized businesses that are categorized and ranked by their performance and abilities to develop and grow and provides the SMEs all kinds of support needed.