Doha, February 2015: Bedaya Centre and Qatar Shell have recognised a record number of volunteer mentors, for contributing to the success of the “Enterprise Challenge Qatar” (ECQ) 2014 during a special event held at The Diplomatic Club.

Since its launch in 2012, the “Enterprise Challenge Qatar”, which is designed to encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship among young people, has managed to attract an increasing number of participants. More than 100 volunteer mentors, most of whom are Qataris, and 700 students from across Qatar participated in the ECQ 2014 edition.

Volunteer mentors of the winning teams received special awards and certificates of appreciation.

"As a mentor, I feel that I was able to make a significant difference by planting the entrepreneurial seed in the minds of young people, who will be tomorrow’s business leaders and will essentially help diversify Qatar’s economy. It is an honour to be part of this successful programme and I hope to see more volunteer mentors who have passion for business, join next year’s edition,” said Munira Al Dosari, co-founder of Girnas, who volunteered her time to mentor university students in 2014.

All volunteer mentors were also awarded certificates of appreciation in recognition of their continuous efforts and dedication to the growing success of the “Enterprise Challenge Qatar”. Srikanth Murthi, who mentored the team from Stenden University Qatar, was recognised as the longest serving mentor.

Students were likewise thrilled to be part of this programme, and showed their utmost appreciation to their mentors.

“We couldn’t have done it without our mentors. It is with their help that we have acquired the necessary skills to pursue our goals. This experience has inspired me to become a mentor in the future,” said Saad Ahmed, from Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, who represented the award-winning team from the university category at the event.

The ‘Enterprise Challenge Qatar’ programme has different tiers for high school and university students, and is made up of two parts comprising: theEthical Business Challenge, which tests participants’ ability to balance the economic, environmental and social performance of their company; and theBusiness Simulation element which familiarises students with general business concepts from inception through to trading, finance, sales, marketing and production.

“We are extremely pleased with the positive response from volunteer mentors, schools, and universities alike. By inspiring the young people in Qatar to become future business leaders, this programme contributes to building a thriving private sector in Qatar,” said Abdulaziz Al-Khalifa, CEO of Qatar Development Bank and Chairman of Bedaya.

“The programme features a series of intensive mentoring sessions and workshops that involved this year over 100 mentors, who were trained by Bedaya and Qatar Shell, to coach and inspire students,” Al Khalifa said. “Our mentors are the cornerstone of this successful programme and we are proud of their ongoing contribution.”

Echoing Al Khalifa, Managing Director and Chairman of Qatar Shell, Wael Sawan said: “The volunteer mentors have played an essential role to empower and inspire students to become future business leaders.”

“It is thanks to our expanding community of volunteer mentors that our students have acquired the business skills and the practical tools to ultimately succeed in a real business environment and hopefully fulfil the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030,” he continued.

He added that the total number of participants has increased by more than a third in 2014, while the number of schools involved has doubled.

The universities winners of the “Enterprise Challenge Qatar” 2014 competition were announced during the opening Gala Dinner of Global Entrepreneurship Week in November 2014.

“The Jockeys” team from Carnegie Mellon University claimed the first prize in the Universities category while Ahmed Bin Hanbal Boys School and Al Ghuwairiya Girls School took home the first prize in the Schools category.

Last year, Bedaya Centre and Qatar Shell have signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding, to expand the entrepreneurship programme and attract more mentors from Qatar’s business community. The programme has been such a success that it received special praise and recognition during the ‘UK Mentor of the Year Awards’ hosted by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales at the Sandringham Palace in the United Kingdom

The Enterprise Challenge was originally created by Mosaic, a UK-based not-for-profit organisation established by HRH the Prince of Wales in 2007, to offer a range of mentoring programmes aimed at fostering opportunities for young people.

Qatar Shell is the founding partner of Mosaic in Qatar, and together with Bedaya, has worked to bring ‘The Enterprise Challenge’ to Qatar.

For more information about and to volunteer in the “Enterprise Challenge Qatar”, please contact Reem Al Suwaidi on reem@bedaya.qa and Leena Abel Khaleq on Leena.Abdel-Khaleq@shell.com

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