To foster local startup innovation, the Qatar Development Bank (QDB) on Sunday launched an entrepreneurship leave programme that will offer paid leaves to Qatari government employees pursuing entrepreneurship goals.
The programme is primarily meant to help full-time employees turn their part-time entrepreneurship into fully-fledged businesses, but in accordance with a plan agreed by the QDB. It is being rolled out in cooperation with the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs.
The bank will start accepting applications for the programme from October 13 to December 24.
The entrepreneurship leave programme targets Qatari nationals of government employees subject to the Human Resources Law No 15 of 2016 who own existing projects and wish to devote their full time to developing these projects. The programme applies only those whose salary does not exceed QR50,000.
An employee wishing to benefit from the new programme is required to be at least 18 years of age, owns an entrepreneurship project for at least two years with audited financial statements. Each applicant must also have a professional experience of at least three years and be employed with the same employer for at least a year as of the application date.
QDB CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Khalifa said the programme was part of the bank's efforts to engage and support all components of the business community and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in driving the development of the entrepreneurial climate in the country, including Qatari employees in the government sector.
Khalifa said government employees who have started part-time entrepreneurship have demonstrated great potential for the development of private, pioneering and successful projects. The leave programme aims to take advantage of their experience obtained from their work places.
Meeting certain criteria would increase the chances of the targeted entrepreneurs getting accepted into this programme, the chief executive said. The entrepreneurship’s alignment with the Qatar National Vision 2030, innovation and national demand are some of the key criteria.
Fahad Mohammed al Khayareen, the Director of Policies and Human Resources Planning Department at the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, said the ministry seeks to cooperate with various government and non-government institutions in Qatar to encourage the private sector and engage the government sector in achieving this target, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030.
He said the government entities have become an integrated system that aims through the various activities to give the employees different skills at various levels, stressing the Ministry's keenness on providing all necessary support to ensure the realization of this new project, which will be another pillar for the development of the state economy by pumping qualified human resources for production and innovation in building a private sector immune to all challenges.