Roudha Center

Roudha Center

Doha, QatarQatar
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Roudha Center is a unique non-governmental and not-for-profit organization in Qatar that reflects His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani’s 2030 vision of fostering and nurturing women entrepreneurs.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

Approximately 20 words left (140 characters).
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

According to a recent Booz & Company's survey, young Qataris showed the least interest in becoming entrepreneurs (3%). In Qatar, 62% of interest in entrepreneurship came from males, and just 38% from females. Qatar has a large number of ambitious, talented and well-educated women, but they face many unique challenges when pursuing entrepreneurial projects. Roudha Center's projects and initiatives seek to correct this imbalance.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Roudha Center is a one stop shop for women entrepreneurs; a non-profit focused on fueling the economy through entrepreneurship. Our programs focus on entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership, empowering women with the confidence, skills, and knowledge they need to succeed. More specifically, the Center delivers business, financial, legal and training/programming services as well incubational assistance to drive women towards entrepreneurship and economic self-sufficiency. Our goals: •Link women with successful role models from the business sector •Develop women’s skills so that they can successfully compete in the SME market •Introduce women to innovation, critical thinking, and new business concepts
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Already, this year, Roudha Center has designed and executed a number of successful programs including Qatar’s first women’s entrepreneurship development program, Mashroui. Mashroui, a free, six month long program, provided current and aspiring women entrepreneurs with the A-Z’s of how to create and develop a successful business. The graduation ceremony, held in June, honored the 28 participants’ hard work and was attended by members of the press, VIP guests, and distinguished members of the community including United States Ambassador, Susan Ziadha. In addition to Mashroui, Roudha Center has executed monthly workshop series, commercial photography courses, ICTQatar life skills training courses, a London fashion show with Qatari designers.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

In just over two years, Roudha Center has collaborated with over 40 local and international organizations to help create the next generation of women business leaders and entrepreneurs. To date, the Roudha Center, with the help of its sponsors, has conducted 80 programs/events/workshops focused on entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership that have reached over 6,000 women. This year, the Roudha Center team was recently recognized at the Social Development Center’s Reyada Awards held at Qatar National Convention Center where we placed second in the category of “Best Outstanding Entrepreneurial Support”. The award was presented by HE Sheikha al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani. If finance was no issue, the impact of RC activities would reach a wider audience of women, and time and efforts would be towards creating more innovative programs that would support women economically.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We rely heavily on retained pool of volunteers from the business community, corporate experts, and community leaders to help us develop and execute programs that encourage women to thrive as entrepreneurs in a global economy. We hope to build on our many successes this year and have a very exciting and aggressive growth plan for the next few years which includes developing an angel investment network for women entrepreneurs in Qatar.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Roudha Center is the only center for women entrepreneurs in Qatar. Unlike their male counterparts, women in Qatar face unique challenges. These challenges require unique solutions. While other organizations for entrepreneurship development do exist in Qatar, the mixed environment of these organizations is a deterrent to many women who wish to benefit from their services but do not feel comfortable in mixed environments for whatever reason. By contrast, Roudha Center provides a comfortable and secure environment in which women can feel at ease.

Founding Story

Roudha Center is a unique non-governmental and not-for-profit organization in Qatar that reflects His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani’s 2030 vision of fostering and nurturing women entrepreneurs. Chaired by Sheikha Hanadi bint Naser bin Khaled Al Thani, Roudha Center has reached, to date, over 6,000 local women through its programs focused on entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership; empowering women with the confidence, skills, and ambition they need to succeed. The cofounders applied to an executive program at Carnegie Mellon Uni. Qatar with the same proposal of opening an entrepreneurship centre for women, though they never met before the first day of the class, and thats where it began.
About You
Roudha Center
About You
About Your Organization
Organization Name

Roudha Center

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact

, DW, Doha

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Year founded
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date?

We have engaged since our start more than 6000 women from the local community in our workshops/events. in the first year alone we engaged 4500 women through 24 events/workshops. This is an indication on the need for more women based organisations, that supports women empowerment and development.
In a latest programs completed we graduated 28 local women form a six month program for women entrepreneurs. all 28 completed the program to the end, because it was addressing their direct needs.

We believe the impact we have made in the past few years will continue to grow, as our supports increase. our future goal is to enter different fields of business and development for women, by providing B2B workshops.

Barriers: What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Since day one of pitching we have had the same barrier and that is "Why women?" and being women heading the center. The other issue has always been the funding for women initiatives. Men in this country worry about how they will be perceived if they support women initiatives directly.
That has never stopped us and will not stop us now from succeeding towards our goals, unless we don't the FUNDING required.

Full Impact Potential: What are the main spread strategies moving forward? (Please consider geographic spread, policy reform, and independent replication/adoption of the idea or other mechanisms.)

We have a couple of strategies outlined for this coming year, one of which is the implementation of the home business policy, today it does not exist preventing a lot of women from doing business at home.
we are currently working on in Doha and the close surroundings, with current plans reaching the rural areas of Qatar, where women are really neglected and basic skills could increase their household incomes.
Leadership for young women, supporting the younger generation on the correct steps to take their lawful positions in society is a main strategy for this year.

Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

For this years strategy we are exploring the different ways to creating revenue streams for the center to sustain itself. This is through Quarterly events, which will help local businesses reach to our women community, and the other is through a newsletter of classifieds.
The other two strategies are:
1- Membership for clients
2- Taking a fee from the attendees of programs and workshops

Also, considering signing up partners for 2-3 years to support the centres operational expenses.

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

When we did the research to explore the reasons why women were not owning businesses, surprisingly it was all about the "Know-how" and the availability of information in one place.
also, the word Entrepreneurship was never heard off in Qatar or used, where as the whole world in talking about it. here we felt the need to push for this idea.
Finally, the rejection of supporting women made it our mission to make the change ourselves, by starting with us. its a hard road, with some many challenges, but a road, I personally took to walk in.

Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.

we have both Local and international partners.
Our main founding partners, are all local, headed by Shaika Hanadi Bint Naser a business women and entrepreneur, Al-Anasri Law Firm, and Silatech.
we also have other local partners, such as IctQatar, Injaz Qatar, QDB, EQ, SDC, Bedaya, the local Universities, local firms and businesses.
MEPI-US Embassay
British council-British Embassy

Women Powering Work
Is your project targeted at solving any of the following challenges?

Training and education such as skills workshops, entrepreneurship courses, apprenticeship opportunities

Does your project utilize any of the strategies below?

Providing practical education or resources along with your main project, such as financial literacy, family planning, day-care, counseling, and more