Doha, 22 August, 2016:
Qatari Entrepreneur-owned cafeteria Fouj will open a new branch next week, in the Qatar Shell offices. The venture is a result of Qatar Development Bank and Qatar Shell’s ‘SME Business Opportunity’ initiative.
As part of a nationwide strategy to support local small and medium enterprises (SMEs), Fouj Café won Doha office catering tender and signed a contract with Qatar Shell, in partnership with Qatar Development Bank (QDB), to provide food and beverage services for more than 700 employees. In addition, Fouj Café will also provide catering for Shell events.
Fouj Café is owned by a Qatari brother and sister partnership and creates international food with a Qatari twist. The original Fouj Café is located on Grand Hamad Street.
Qatar Shell’s ‘SME Business Opportunity’ initiative offers local SMEs the opportunity to participate in Qatar Shell’s tendering process. Last year, six new Qatari SMEs were awarded contracts with Shell, adding to the 14 contracts awarded between 2013 and 2015.
Commenting on the initiative, Ibrahim Mohammed Al-Emadi, CEO of Fouj Café, said: “This is our first business-to-business effort, and we will be offering more in the future. The new café meets Shell’s international standards, and we will apply those standards to our other locations in Doha in the future.”
In addition to Fouj Café, Inspection Technology (I-Tech) is successfully providing onsite welding inspection services and Social Media Solutions is managing Qatar Shell’s social media platforms, both as part of the SME initiative. The three other SMEs awarded contracts last year are also progressing: Cooper & Turner W.L.L for the manufacturing of stud bolts; Digital Print Centre for the manufacturing of safety boards and electric labels; and Chubb Fire, International Gulf Trading for the manufacturing and maintenance of fire extinguishers.
Commenting on the success of local SMEs, Bader Al Kuwari, Business Localization Support Manager at QDB, said: “The success of these six companies shows that local SMEs are capable of applying the international standards. This should encourage other big international companies in Qatar to give similar opportunities to local SMEs.”
Qatar Shell’s annual ‘SME Business Opportunity’ initiative has been growing year on year. In May 2016, more than 250 SMEs attended the fourth annual ‘Qatari SME Busi-ness Opportunities Workshop” to compete for further six contracts on offer, worth QR70 million. Contracts will be awarded in December.
In 2015, more than 150 Qatari SMEs attended the workshop, where more than 60 local SMEs showed their interest to compete for the seven business opportunities on offer. More than 30 local SMEs were shortlisted and invited to participate in Qatar Shell’s tender process that resulted in the awarding of six individual contracts. In 2014, 110 local SMEs and entrepreneurs participated in the workshop, and 33 SMEs qualified to tender resulting in the awarding of five individual contracts. In addition three contracts were awarded to local SMEs in 2013, the first year of the program.
QDB plays an important role by providing the SMEs and entrepreneurs with manage-ment, advisory and financial support. With a mandate to support Qatari SMEs, QDB works with its wide network of local partner banks to attract local SMEs to participate in this initiative.
Mohamed AbuJbara, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Qatar Shell, said: “Qatar Shell trusts local SMEs to deliver to the highest standard and we remain committed to supporting them to help bolster the private sector in the country.”
Qatar Shell and QDB won the Social Development Center’s Reyada ‘Outstanding Entre-preneurial Support’ Award in 2015 for their role in developing Qatari entrepreneurs and SMEs.