The conference, held on the 10th and 11th, was held under the patronage and presence of H.E. Sheikh Fahed Bin Jassim Bin Mohammad Al-Thani, Minister of Trade & Business, who delivered the conference’s keynote speech. H.E. Joseph LeBaron, U.S. Ambassador to Qatar, and Mrs. Aisha Alfardan, Vice Chairwoman of QBWF, were dignitaries also present to inaugurate the program.
The event’s aim was to focus on methods of improving entrepreneurs’ and business professionals’ knowledge and experience, building networking opportunities and offering insights into current global economic issues. Qatari businessmen and women attended three workshops and two panel discussions.
The three workshops were conducted by three women professionals from the U.S., Barbara Gentry, Principal, Gentry Consulting; Joey Tamer, President, Small Office Strategies, Inc. and Y. Renee Lewis, President and CEO, Pensare Group. These consultants have a combined experience of over 60 years as CEOs and strategic advisors to entrepreneurs and emerging businesses in various fields. The workshops were entitled, ‘Taking Care of Business: Writing a Bankable Business Plan That Succeeds from the Beginning,’ ‘Operational Effectiveness: Looking at Your Business from the Inside Out’ and ‘SME and Beyond: 10 Steps to Growing Your Business.’
Panel discussions were moderated by Mr. Alaa Mohammad, Business Instructor, College of the North Atlantic – Qatar, and tackled the relevant subjects, ‘Assessing What the Global Financial Crisis Means to SMEs: Challenges and Opportunities’ and ‘Leveraging Resources for SME Development and Growth.’
The panel discussions included the U.S. guest consultants and local professionals such as QBWF Vice-Chairwoman Aisha Alfardan. Other distinguished participants were Mr. Abdallah Al Ra’issi, Deputy CEO Commercial Bank, Mr. Pervez Khan, Assistant GM and Head of Investment Banking, Corporate Banking and Capital Markets, for Commercial Bank of Qatar, Dr. Khaled Youssef Al Darabsti, Director of Investment Promotion, Ministry of Trade & Commerce ; Mr. Sami Al Hawaj, Expert at Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting and Eman Ghafan Al Basti, Board Member, QBWF.
Speaking of the tremendous opportunities and experiences offered to participants, QBWF Vice-Chairwoman Al Fardan said, “We could not be more grateful to the MENA Businesswomen’s Network (MENA BWN), the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and Vital Voices for their support of this QBWF program. This program offered invaluable tools and insights and addressed relevant topics facing business professional men and women today. The Corporate Ambassador program was able to satisfy its mission of providing the tools and information SMEs need to improve their businesses and manage enterprises.”
“QBWF is delighted that there has been such a positive response and will tailor future conferences and programs to address current events and meet the evolving needs of Qatari businessmen and women. She continued, and the success of this program indicates that there is a desire for more conferences and programs of this kind. The outpouring of interest and support the program has received proves the trust participants have in their own capabilities and their awareness of the valuable roles they play within the community,” he added
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