36.3 C
Doha
Friday, April 23, 2021

Qatar’s first co-working hub for startups to launch in September

-

7ayek Hub

Head’s up, aspiring Qatar entrepreneurs – the country’s first startup-minded co-working hub is preparing to open next month with a crowd-funding event to help get fledgling businesses off the ground.

The center, 7ayak Hub, is pronounced “Hayak,” which means “welcome,” “hello” or “come in” in Arabic and it will provide space for startups in Qatar to collaborate with and support one another.

The three-story building in Madinat Khalifa South offers hot-desking for those who need a space to work once in a while, and also 24/7 full office facilities with permanent desks.

There is enough space for 17 people to work at permanent desks and 50 people to work at hot-desks at once.

Entrepreneurship is already an important aspect of Qatar’s economic diversification strategy, and organizations such as Bedaya and Silatech exist to provide mentoring and practical support to budding young business people.

Qatar University’s College of Business and Economics also has a Center for Entrepreneurship that works with the wider community to help with business plans and skills.

Hub concept

The co-working hub concept is already established in much of North America and Europe, and is starting to become popular in other parts of the Gulf.

Its aim is to bring together entrepreneurs, freelancers, community activists and start-up founders under the same roof to share ideas and skills.

7ayak Hub Director Evgenia Berestneva told Doha News that the goal is to fill a gap in the Qatar market. She continued:

“A center has recently opened up in Dubai and we felt it was time Qatar had one too, as the concept of entrepreneurship is gaining momentum here.

“There is support for people to start their own businesses but no natural ecosystem for them to talk to each other and get mutual support, advice and expertise. We hope this is what we can achieve through the hub.”

Launch event

The hub organizers plan to launch their venture with a crowd-funding event on Wednesday, Sept. 3 from 6pm to 9pm.

Tickets for the event cost QR50 if reserved in advance, QR75 at the door, with all proceeds going toward a “winning fund.”

On the night of the event, the pioneer tenants of 7ayak Hub will pitch their business ideas to a panel of experts and the audience, and the idea that is voted most popular will win the fund to help grow their business.

For those interested in hub membership, QR100 tickets are available, which can get the purchaser a 50 percent discount on their first month. Online tickets can be reserved here.

Current hub tenants

Some of the business people who already have space at the hub and who will be vying to win the prize money include:

  • Haitham Al-Haidari, co-founder of United Admissions Qatar tutoring center;
  • Deevina Visrolia, co-founder of Karak Time, an online platform covering events, activities and stories about trend setters and entrepreneurs in Qatar;
  • Meraj Mohammed, co-founder of 7ayak 7aya, providing advice and a directory covering health, diet and fitness;
  • Adnan Mujib, co-founder of the House of Wow production company which provides photography and videography services to SMEs; and
  • Hesham Attia, CEO of Dorra, which offers creative “edutainment” and interactive content.

The organizers said that they also plan to put on educational, training and networking events for members and new-comers throughout the coming year.

Thoughts?

This article was edited to correct the fact that it is not an initiative of The Youth Company.

14 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
14 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Do you need a 51% Qatari sponsor to launch your start up? If so, then what is the incentive, you come up with the idea, do all the hard work and he creams off the profit…. then you get jailed for the illegal visa scame he starts running through your company and the police only take action against you….
It is a nice idea but the business regulatory enviroment is not ready for such a thing in Qatar. This is very good if you are Qatari but for a non-Qatari you best stay away and take your idea somewhere else.

disqus_TMLyDgHCfw
disqus_TMLyDgHCfw
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

You do know the 51% thing isn’t a profit share. As a general rule the Qatar Partner gets MUCH less of the profit than the guys running the business.

In fact, the reason the 51% exists is specifically to make the Qatari responsible if anyone needs to go to jail…

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Sure thing, we believe you….and if that is the case even 20% for signing a few forms then sitting around at starbucks whilst I work my a off ain’t going to happen.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Yes I do know the difference but the 51% is not to hold the majority owner to account. As in the illegal visa trade they admitted not one Qatari was arrested and they blame the expat management

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Exactly, you would have to be an absolute fool or desperate to start a business in Qatar, the risk is far too high and the 51% ownership requirement is actually placing yourself in a very dangerous position. Long way to go before Qatar has a free and open market system.

disqus_TMLyDgHCfw
disqus_TMLyDgHCfw
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

You clearly have no idea about starting businesses in Qatar.

There’s certain businesses I wouldn’t start, such as internet based businesses. I also wouldn’t Register a company here and then look to expand as the 51% might get trickier when taking a concept abroad if the legal work isn’t bullet proof. BUT if you have a franchise or want to open a standalone store then Qatar isn’t necessarily a bad idea.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

You clearly have no idea about Qatars inequitable justice/legal system.

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago

YOU clearly have no idea about starting a business in Qatar for having said that.

The point is, with a 51% owner (regardless of how salaries are split or how profit is split) that 51% has all power with any “yes” or “no” decisions. They can control as much as they want, whenever they want to. They may take a back-seat at some points, but as soon as they want to control, they can.

If the 49% partner wants to award a contract for toilet paper to the lowest bidder, but the 51% partner wants to award it to his brother’s company, then guess what, his brother’s company will get it.

The 49% partner will never have the ability to fully anticipate what he is getting into or what it will cost him, so a smart investor would steer clear because smart investment is always about understanding what it is you are actually signing up for (whether high risk or low risk, you know what the “rules” are). Here there are far too many unknowns; not only with your partner, but with sudden regulation changes, visa issues, when you will have control over the business vs. when you won’t, etc.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat Girl

This is the same issue no matter the country…..its not a Qatar thing, its a business structure thing. There are legal frameworks and company bylaws that address these very matters, so its not really a matter of opinions but what is the realm of the possible and not possible within that framework. I would say, one should address this with legal expertise in Qatar and with experience in the legal frameworks of Qatar rather than making uninformed statements based on speculation or opinion…..or comments in a Doha News Thread? In your Expat country of origin do 51%/49% partnerships not exist? And that is just partnerships. LLCs and C-Corps have different structures and could have multiple partners, maybe 10 or more, where no one single person has the controlling interest. In that sense, the ownership stakes need only be 51% Qatari citizens. Additionally, to just assume because one is Qatari that they would make all decisions based on their relationships rather than business minded decisions is painting an awful lot of people with a very broad brush. Here, just like everywhere, there are people that game and take advantage. It is very common for partnerships to have issues like this the world over. That is why most businesses are recommended to use an LLC or -S-Corp to protect those interests.

disqus_TMLyDgHCfw
disqus_TMLyDgHCfw
6 years ago
Reply to  Cerebus

Well said.

disqus_TMLyDgHCfw
disqus_TMLyDgHCfw
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat Girl

That’s simply not true. It is absolutely possible to legally write into your contract that your Qatari partner has no authority to make business decisions. At worst, the only decision they can make (as long as you word the contract correctly) is to break the Sponsorship Agreement so that you need to find a new partner, however, this would have it’s own ramifications.

I’m a British Expat, and have been involved in several Sponsorship Agreements.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

MIMH. A 51% ownership stake is not the same as the salaries, compensation, or disbursement of dividends to shareholders. There are lots of companies around the globe that have similar structures with regards to ownership. This is especially true of shareholder (Corporations) where their might be a significant shareholder in a firm that holds a majority of the stock. That all falls to the equity side of the balance sheet for the business. There are even different classes of stocks and bonds that have dividends (or even none at all) depending on the type of ownership. Compensation can be paid external to ownership and is classified as an expense. The majority partners generally bear most of the legal responsibility for the firm, and to the points below, it allows for the needed immigration services, debts, and obligations under Qatari law to be accounted for and allocated properly. You will find this in other western countries around the world, its nothing new.

osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
6 years ago

Lets imagine that we have a company… Lets ignore all the legal requirements…

1- Rental contract of an office.
2- Capital.
3- Bank account.

4- Qatari partner.

Lets work illegally.

sadam
sadam
6 years ago
Reply to  osamaalassiry

Anndd… let’s not ignore the probability that 50% of businesses fail in the first year and 95% fail within the next five years

Related Articles

- Advertisment -

Most Read

Subscribe to Doha News below!

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.