group of qatari leaders

The programme was designed and delivered by Common Purpose, the international leadership development organization, and brought together 26 leaders from a variety of sectors and specialisms to tackle the challenge: “How can we make a step-change in the survival rate of Qatari start-ups?”

Hosted both at the Qatar Shell Research and Technology Centre at the Qatar Science and Technology Park, and at QBIC, the group were guided through an innovation process involving inputs from experts and organizations from across Qatar’s entrepreneurship ‘eco-system’. Together, they developed prototype ideas that would address the central challenge. The ideas included:

  • En-Space: an idea for an agreement between employers and employees to allow time during the week for staff entrepreneurs to do work relating to their enterprise
  • One-Stop Shop: an idea to align the different entities supporting entrepreneurship and startups and to connect SMEs and startups to all their stakeholders in one location
  • The Study: an idea to produce a study of the current situation in the Qatari entrepreneurial market needs in order to identify the gaps hindering its process and missed opportunities
  • Start-up Point: is a company registration wizard. It is a mobile application designed to help entrepreneurs with their business registration process and provide alerts on regulatory dues. It will have integration with all related ministries and departments involved in a new company formation in Qatar and, at a later stage, can be used to connect an entrepreneur with financial & legal experts, when required.

Helping Qatar’s budding entrepreneurs to thrive is crucial as the country moves towards a more diversified, knowledge-based economy.

Economic diversification is a key priority of the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the Common Purpose Navigator Programme is one of a number of initiatives Shell and their partners are supporting to promote innovation and entrepreneurialism.

Rob Sherwin, General Manager Corporate Affairs and Deputy Country Chairman, Qatar Shell & Chair of Navigator Advisory Group said: “We are proud to contribute actively, together with our partners Qatar Business Incubator Center (QBIC), Social Development Center (SDC) and Silatech, to the Common Purpose ‘Navigator’ programme as this will play an important role in engaging future leaders and entrepreneurs in some of the practical issues and challenges raised by the Qatar National Vision 2030 by helping them to be more innovative, more entrepreneurial, and better leaders.”

Participants on the Navigator programme were drawn from organizations such as Qatar National Bank, Ooredoo, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Qatar Petroleum, Vodafone, Qatar University, Doha Film Institute, United Development Company, Qatar Tourism Authority, The Commercial Bank of Qatar, British Embassy Doha; as well as Shell and SDC.

Eman Al Marzouqi, Civil Engineer at Qatar Shell and one of the participants in the programme said: “The programme was very beneficial to me as it provided me with deep insights about entrepreneurship, and gave me the opportunity to connect with different entities that support entrepreneurship in Qatar.”

Notes to Editors


Shell is the largest foreign investor in Qatar having invested USD 21 billion over the past decade. Qatar Petroleum and Shell have jointly delivered two of the largest energy projects in the world in Ras Laffan Industrial City. Pearl Gas to Liquids (GTL) is the world’s largest GTL plant and cements Qatar’s position as the GTL capital of the world. At an investment of up to USD19 billion it represents the largest single investment in the Shell Group’s global portfolio.

The Qatargas 4 Liquefied Natural Gas project (QP (70%) and Shell (30%) combines Shell’s global leadership in LNG with Qatar’s position as the world’s largest LNG supplier.

Shell has established a world-class research and development facility and a learning centre, the Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre, at the Qatar Science & Technology Park. Shell has a financial commitment to invest up to USD100 million on programmes in support of energy and the environment at the Centre over a 10-year period.

Qatar Shell contributes to the objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030 not only through our economic investments, but also through our investments in national talent and capability development, both internally through the professional development of our Qatari employees, and externally through our extensive Corporate Social Responsibility programme in partnership with Qatari institutions.

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Silatech is a dynamic social initiative that works to create jobs and expand economic opportunities for young people throughout the Arab world. It promotes large-scale job creation, entrepreneurship, access to capital and markets, and the participation and engagement of young people in economic and social development. Founded in 2008 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Silatech finds innovative solutions to challenging problems, working with a wide spectrum of NGOs, governments and the private sector to foster sustainable, positive change for Arab youth.

"Silatech" comes from the Arabic word "Sila," which means "connection." In Arabic, "Silatech" means "your connection." Silatech brings NGOs and civil society, governments and the private sector together to address youth unemployment issues from every angle.

Their mission is to connect young people with improved opportunities for employment, enterprise and civic engagement. We do this by mobilizing knowledge, investment, technology and networks, and by influencing mindsets and policies that are key to unlocking wider impact.


Social Development Centre

Social Development Center is a non-profit social development organization, founded in 1996 under the aegis of her highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.

The Center aims at contributing to community development via riding herd on families and developing human resources through training, rehabilitation and awareness-raising. The Center also strives to offer advanced development-oriented social services so that it adjusts the factors of sufficiency, solidarity and balance for each and every family member. It is mainly concerned with youth and disadvantaged groups in matters of education, potentials and access to resources so as to achieve its vision aspiring to ensuring stability as well as social and economic security for the family.

The Center emerged from Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development and has lately joined Qatar Foundation for Social Work. It is also a member of United Nations' Economic and Social Council, Arab Network for NGOs and World Family Organization.


Qatar Business Incubation Centre

Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) is the largest mixed-use business incubator in the MENA region. QBIC was founded by two of Qatar's leading government institutions supporting local entrepreneurs: Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and the Social Development Center (SDC). QBIC's goal is to develop the next QAR 100 Million companies in Qatar. QBIC empowers entrepreneurs to start and grow companies by incubating, developing, connecting and investing.

One of QBIC’s flagship initiatives is LeanStartup, turning innovative ideas into startup businesses. LeanStartup is a ten-week entrepreneurial program that provides real world, hands-on learning experience on how to successfully start a company.


Common Purpose

The world is becoming more complex and fragmented. Common Purpose believes that the best leaders are able to lead across boundaries, and especially lead people with diverse perspectives—from different backgrounds, beliefs, generations, geographies, specializations and sectors. Our programmes help leaders develop their Cultural Intelligence.

We run leadership development programmes that inspire and equip people to work across boundaries. Through exposing people to new experiences, new leaders and new perspectives, they improve their own leadership. We offer programmes to university students preparing for their careers, right through to global C-suite executives at the peak of their careers. And cities are our classrooms, because cities are where leaders, and boundaries, converge.

Common Purpose combines an extensive global network with an intense local focus. Our unrivalled convening power and independence allow us to bring together leaders from different backgrounds who would not normally meet. Our unique experiential facilitation techniques foster and accelerate leadership learning. We use our own thought leadership, including Leading Beyond Authority (LBA) and Cultural Intelligence (CQ), to inspire leaders to work together. On all our programmes, participants go out into cities to learn about real leadership, from real leaders.

The 50,000 Common Purpose Alumni worldwide are better equipped as leaders, and this has a positive impact on the organizations and cities that they operate in. They are able to build broader networks, make better decisions and drive bold innovation. Founded in 1989, 4,000 leaders now benefit from our programmes every year.