Mada Center Supports the Entrepreneurial Ambitions of People With Disabilities during GEW
The Qatar Assistive Technology Center (Mada) recently took part in Global Entrepreneurship Week, November 13 to 17 in Qatar, with the aim of supporting persons with disabilities (PWDs) as viable members of the entrepreneur community. In tandem with its participation at the event, Mada also released a report entitled Creating Accessible Services to Support Entrepreneur PWDs in Qatar, which details the ways in which PWDs can take advantage of the entrepreneurial environment, and how corporates benefit by supporting PWD entrepreneurs.
“We were thrilled to participate in Global Entrepreneurship Week and to represent persons with disabilities while showcasing our value proposition to entrepreneurs and enterprises in Qatar,” said Maha Al Mansouri, Mada CEO. “With the release of our report, we aim to educate and help incubation centers, commercial and development banks, and all public and private entities who work in supporting entrepreneurs to understand the needs of PWDs.”
Mada’s report details the reasons and expectations of people with disabilities when it comes to entrepreneurial activity. Like any person, there are many reasons why people with a disability choose to become self-employed, or to start their own business. For some it is a matter of necessity when other opportunities have not materialized, for others a specific idea or opportunity emerges coupled with a desire to increase control over one’s work and to manage one’s own work–life balance, whilst increasing job satisfaction and increasing income or benefits. The report also looks at the benefits that working with entrepreneurs with disabilities bring on a wider economic and social level.
“Our aim, during this event, is to show various entities how they can benefit from supporting entrepreneurs with a disability. Not only will it help them contribute to Qatar’s economy, but supporting a social initiative such as this will help them improve their triple bottom line,” added Rashid Mohsin Alhajri, Director of Public Relations and Communications at the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
Entrepreneurship and self-employment are vital elements in any national strategy seeking to support people with a disability in the workplace, and offer the potential for flexibility, satisfaction and financial rewards that may have been impossible whilst employed. Whilst there are many examples of successful entrepreneurs with disabilities in every part of the world, establishing a business is not without risk, however. Recognizing that people with a disability have experienced greater barriers than others over many years, there is much to be said for establishing and supporting more intensive programs to address the inherent challenges.
Global Entrepreneurship Week is recognized as one of the most important platforms for spreading the culture of entrepreneurship globally and locally, with many activities and events being hosted in each country separately. The Qatar arm of the event, which was organized by Qatar Development Bank, showcases ways in which entrepreneurs can generate opportunities and build a sustainable business to boost the local economy.