The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in Qatar’s entrepreneurial activity, according to Qatar Development Bank (QDB) acting CEO Mr. Abdulrahman Hesham al-Sowaidi’s statement in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Qatar National Report 2020.
The report is the most comprehensive study of the level of entrepreneurial activity in Qatar, said Mr. al-Sowaidi and added that QDB is the lead institution responsible for Qatar’s participation in GEM 2020.
“The pandemic showed us that some entrepreneurs have the resources to be resilient and thrive, while others have seen their existing challenges and barriers accelerate and exacerbated, further restricting their chances of success,” Mr. al-Sowaidi pointed out in the report.
The Qatari adults are highly optimistic towards entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. The GEM 2020 results highlighted that the potential for entrepreneurship is evident in the large proportion of the population who consider it as a desirable career option and believe entrepreneurs are well regarded.
Last year, Qatar has experienced an increase in entrepreneurial activity despite the unprecedented impact of the pandemic on the global economy. The proportion of adults involved in early-stage entrepreneurship in the country has steadily increased since 2017, and the rate of established business ownership has reached an all-time high since the benchmark study was conducted in 2016.
“In addition, the rate of entrepreneurial employee activity has nearly doubled since 2019. As entrepreneurial activity in Qatar is rising, the rate of business discontinuance is declining,” the report noted.
Further, the report stated that the coronavirus pandemic has led to a drastic shift in consumer behavior and has created a lasting ripple effect on businesses from all industries. The short-term behaviors of consumers coping with this crisis are likely to have a long-term impact on business models, partnerships, and the competitive landscape.
The GEM 2020 results highlight that, “Qatar’s entrepreneurs are evolving and innovating to meet growing customer demands in the post-pandemic world.”
During the pandemic, the Qatari government has taken a pivotal role in supporting new and established businesses. Eight in 10 entrepreneurs agree that the government has responded effectively to the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
“One in every four established business owners in Qatar have received or expect to receive financial support from the government because of COVID-19. Furthermore, over a quarter of early-stage entrepreneurs in Qatar feel it is easier to start a business now when compared to before the pandemic,” the report noted.