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An initiative by Bedaya Centre and Qatar Shell, the Enterprise Challenge Qatar (ECQ) 2016 kicked off in November, bringing in over 1200 students from more than 40 schools in Qatar. Now in its fifth year, the program has different levels catering to high school and university students, running until March 2017. It consists of three stages: the Ethical Business Challenge to practice the participants’ abilities to work with the economic, environmental and social performance of their company, the Business Simulation segment that accustoms the students to essential business practices such as inception, to trading, finance, sales, marketing and production, and the Grand Finals wherein teams present their business ideas in front a panel of judges.
Designed to encourage the entrepreneurial drive of the youth in Qatar, the program lets participants gain valuable business skills, with the opportunity to learn from a team of volunteer mentors from professional backgrounds, including local business owners who have valuable experience in building a business venture. It has received a few nods of approval too- in 2014, during the UK Mentor of the Year Awards hosted by His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales at the Sandringham Palace in UK, gave recognition to the initiative. Last year, Qatar Shell and Bedaya was recognized at Social Development Center’s Reyada awards with the Outstanding Entrepreneur Support Award for their efforts in supporting the Qatar entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The Enterprise Challenge competition was a concept by Prince’s Trust International, a UK-based NGO established by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. As the founding partner of Prince’s Trust International in Qatar, Qatar Shell, along with Bedaya, have brought the competition to Qatar.