Qatar Development Bank selects SEAF as fund manager of $80M SME Growth Program of its new SME Equity Fund.
Doha, Qatar, November 20, 2015 –Qatar Development Bank (QDB) has launched a $100 million Qatar SME Equity Fund and partnered with the Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) by signing an investment management agreement on October,1, 2015 to manage $80 million portion out of the SME Equity Fund that will target high-growth SMEs (the SME Growth Program). QDB will manage the $20 million innovative Start-up program. The SME Equity Fund will support Qatar’s economic diversification by providing growth capital to Qatari entrepreneurs, including innovative start-up companies and high-growth potential small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The SME Growth Program will make some 16 equity investments of $1 to $5 million each during the first 5 years of the Fund’s 10 year life. The Fund will be sector agnostic, while having a preference for certain strategic sectors, such as technology, health services, tourism, infrastructure, education, and agribusiness with exception of the construction, contracting and trade sectors. The average holding period of an investment will be 3 to 5 years, after which SEAF will work with the entrepreneur and QDB for a satisfactory exit, including a possible buy-back by the entrepreneur. SEAF will leverage its extensive global network to increase the value of each investment through accessing technology and international markets.
“We are very pleased to have SEAF as the fund managers for this unique and important fund we just created” said Mr. Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa, CEO of QDB. “Our 5 year strategy at QDB is certainly daring in terms of the support that we have committed to the Qatari entrepreneurs and SME’s. This fund which will be part of an all-encompassing parcel of financial and investment products, will act as a catalyst for the growth of the SME sector as a whole. This we believe is crucial for the diversification of the Qatari economy.
Mr. Hubertus van der Vaart, Executive Chairman of SEAF, believes the timing is excellent to launch the SEAF SME investment model in Qatar under the umbrella of QDB’s extensive product offering to SMEs: “We see a generation of well-educated entrepreneurs in Qatar eager to scale their businesses, not only in Qatar, but in the region and internationally. SEAF’s 26 years of experience and presence in 30 countries should help these entrepreneurs to achieve their goals. In this we are excited to work with QDB, given QDB’s commitment to Qatar’s SME sector and SMEs’ contribution to achieving entrepreneur led growth.”
SEAF is an SEC registered investment adviser to international private equity funds through which it has invested growth capital and provided business support to growth-oriented SMEs in frontier and emerging markets. Having made more than $400 million in SME investments across a wide range of sector, SEAF funds identify and support promising entrepreneurs while seeking to provide attractive returns to its investors. SEAF manages its funds through a network of 25 offices around the world, with its headquarters in Washington, D.C. For more about SEAF, see www.seaf.com.
About Qatar Development Bank
The Qatar Development Bank (QDB) is a financial entity fully owned by the Government of Qatar, set up by an Emiri Decree to invest in and develop local industries by supporting local small and medium enterprises. QDB aligned its strategy to correspond with the Qatar National Vision for 2030 in order to promote and facilitate development and growth of SMEs in core economic areas for the long-term socioeconomic benefit of the people of Qatar. In addition to providing business financing, the Bank also offers advisory support and guidance to small and medium enterprises regarding their start up, growth and expansion in order to establish a sustainable economic system in Qatar. For more info about QDB, visit www.qdb.qa/English.