Injaz Qatar, a non-profit organisation and member of Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide, has partnered with Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCUQatar) to launch Company Programme.
It is a module incorporated into the Business of Design class, a key component of the senior year undergraduate design programme taught by Roger Griffiths, director of entrepreneurship and is expected to run until December 2012 after a September start.
The Company Programme will be taught at 12 schools and universities across Qatar this academic year. It provides students with the unique opportunity to establish and run a real company by developing a business idea, raising capital, producing and selling products/services.
At the end of the programme, students will also be able to liquidate the company with balance sheets and profit/loss statements and present their business to a panel of judges at the national competition.
Aysha al-Mudehki, executive director at Injaz Qatar, explained that the programme provides students with a creative environment to learn about the challenge of setting up a business, while providing them with a better understanding of the financial and managerial implications.
The programme is delivered by senior level professionals from the banking and financial sector, with participating companies for this year including, Qatar Development Bank, Qtel, Standard Chartered, SEIB Insurance, State Street, MetLife Alico and Four and One Group who voluntarily run the courses.
The Company Programme at VCUQatar is being delivered by Bilal Saber, director at Q-Solutions, and corporate volunteer with Injaz Qatar since 2011. Allyson Vanstone, dean, VCUQatar, said that initiatives like this will help the region continue its transformation into a talent-rich destination and a powerful incubator for entrepreneurs.
Students taking part in the Company Programme are expected to compete in Mubadara, Injaz Qatar’s annual Young Enterprise of the Year competition at the end of the school year.
The competition, first organised in Doha in 2008, will see student-led enterprises established through the programme compete for awards including ‘best student company of the year.’
The winning team will then take part in a regional competition against another 13 Arab countries in 2013. Griffiths said that the Injaz Qatar programme combines the notion of a diversified economy for Qatar with the creativity of VCUQatar’s design students.
“This programme is an excellent vehicle to promote student-led creativity and entrepreneurship in the curriculum, enabling our students to develop innovative business models and go on to be leaders in their chosen field of design,” Griffiths said.
Injaz Qatar is also partnering with 20 middle and secondary schools as well as Qatar University. Other unique programmes offered by Injaz Qatar at the secondary and university level include Banks in Action, Success Skills, Be Entrepreneurial and Innovation Camp.