November 2023

HEC Paris in Qatar Launches the Guide to Entrepreneurship in Qatar at Rowad Entrepreneurship Awards & Conference 2023

Doha, Qatar - 21 November 2023:
HEC Paris in Qatar, ranked #1 in the world by the Financial Times for Executive Education, has led the successful launch of a “Guide to Entrepreneurship in Qatar”, which centralizes the available resources and channels to start and grow businesses in Qatar.

Launched at Qatar Development Bank’s 9th Rowad Awards & Entrepreneurship Conference, the guide is the newest edition of the HEC Paris in Qatar book ‘Evolution of Qatar’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Pathways for Innovation’ published last year, with the first detailed mapping of Qatar’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The guide was developed under the umbrella of the Observatory of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, an HEC Paris in Qatar-led initiative that groups multiple stakeholders around this strategic theme.

The guide details the numerous avenues open to entrepreneurs interested in starting a business in Qatar. It also provides guidance resources for startups and SMEs seeking funding and strategies to drive growth. It was presented to an audience of aspiring entrepreneurs, SME business owners, academics, HEC Paris alumni, and investors at a keynote session opened by Dr. Pablo Martin de Holan, Dean of HEC Paris in Qatar. Commenting on the new publication, Dr. Pablo Martin de Holan said: “This guidebook is the result of three years of fieldwork and research by HEC Paris in Qatar.  This work had the support and collaboration of numerous stakeholders functioning within the framework of the Qatar Observatory of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and we are grateful to all of them for their collaboration.

This book and the work behind it stand as a testament to HEC and its partners´ alignment with the Qatar National Vision 2030 and our belief in the importance of entrepreneurship and SMEs as catalysts for economic growth, diversification, innovation and private sector expansion. We eagerly anticipate further research-based advancements and continuing our role in supporting founders and policymakers to bridge the gaps within Qatar’s start-up ecosystem.

We extend our gratitude to Dr. Allan Villegas, the guidebook's editor, and to all contributors from Qatar's entrepreneurial ecosystem, including entrepreneurs, managers, investors, academics, policymakers, and key stakeholders. We are thankful for the active engagement of incubators, accelerators, universities, and co-working centers in portraying Qatar's startup landscape, along with the workshop participants and online survey respondents.  Ultimately, our common desire is to take the Qatar entrepreneurial ecosystem to new heights and we are glad they joined forces with you to produce actionable research such as this book.”

Dr. Allan Villegas, editor of the guidebook, presented an overview that highlighted the fundamentals and options of business development from ideation through to launch and growth. He said: “Economic diversification is a Qatar National Vision 2030 priority, and entrepreneurship has been recognized as the engine to achieve it. Entrepreneurship promotes sustainable development by creating employment opportunities and contributing to national economic growth the world over. However, increasing the number of entrepreneurs is not easy and does not happen overnight. At the same time, not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, it’s not enough to have the right entrepreneurial ecosystem as it’s people who drive business creation and development. This guidebook helps aspiring entrepreneurs and start-up founders figure out how to navigate Qatar’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing them with an understanding of the available options and optimal routes they can take in the early stage of their business development.”

The attendees at the Rowad Entrepreneurship Conference were gifted a printed copy of the guidebook, which is now available online at


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