An exhibition promoting the fledgling businesses of female entrepreneurs at Qatar University opened today.
The Merchant Women exhibition, organised by QU’s Student Affairs Office in conjunction with the Ministry for Social Affairs, runs throughout the week and is open to the public.
The exhibition was inspired by a number of students who had begun to set up their businesses but were looking to increase their public profile. In its first year, some 13 companies have been selected to participate. Their pop-up stalls, at the university’s women’s activities building, sell a range of items from clothing to jewellery, cosmetics, stationery and handicrafts. The exhibition is set to become an annual event and plans are already underway to expand it next year, accommodating more businesses and providing workshops on improving skills such as marketing.
Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr Omar Al-Ansari, formally opened the exhibition, along with Ministry of Social Affairs Assistant Manager Fatima Al-Nuaimi. They toured the stalls, talking to the business women about their plans to grow their seedling companies.
Dr Al-Ansari said: “This is a very important project. Although it is just in its first year, we want this initiative to develop so we can empower young business people to become a success. It is an excellent experience for students and it bridges the gap between student life and looking forward to entering the job market and establishing small and medium-sized businesses. Qatar needs more and more such businesses to help its economy grow and we will encourage our students all we can in their endeavours.”
All the students participating in this year’s event have been invited to take part in training courses organized by the Ministry of Social Affairs to help develop their businesses.
Al-Nuaimi said: “The Ministry of Social Affairs supports young people wanting to start their own businesses and these women are inspirational in their drive to make a success of their small companies. We will help train them in marketing and can improve their technical skills in their individual fields. We look forward to working with them and seeing their businesses go from strength to strength.”