College of the North Atlantic – Qatar (CNA-Q) recently partnered with Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) to offer the College’s Business Studies students a taste of working in a stimulating stock market environment.

QSE sponsored the College’s 6th annual Innovation Challenge – a friendly competition where student teams pitch business ideas to an audience of peers and instructors who collectively rate their performance. The audience simulated a collaborative “Stock Exchange” environment and used crowd-sourcing technology to vote for the business venture they would invest in.

To further adapt the simulated event into a real-world learning opportunity, there was a Qatari Individual Investor component, which simulates State of Qatar regulations that 51 per cent of new businesses must be owned by a Qatari National.

Qatari students in attendance used the mobile phone App Kahoot to select the business idea that they would personally invest in. The choices of each of Qatari student investor were then cross referenced with wider audience Stock Market ratings to evaluate the students’ business sense and ability to select a new venture that is applicable to the broader population.

The top three Qatari students who aligned with the wider stock exchange were awarded prizes from QSE by representatives Fahad Al Sowaidi, Senior Public Relations Officer, and Samer Abu Zaghla, Special Advisor to the Chief Operating Officer. Sowaidi said, “QSE is delighted to be a partner in this competition as we are trying to raise awareness among post-secondary students of how the stock exchange works here in Qatar. The competition was able to deliver this experience in a truly innovative way – this really is an Innovation Challenge.”

The Innovation Challenge is a co-curricular event whereby the activity is integrated with the School of Business Studies entrepreneurship curriculum. Initially over 100 business students in six different classes pitched their business ideas to a panel of faculty judges. The top teams from each class were the participants in the 6th annual Innovation Challenge held on December 6, 2016.

Peter Moore, CNA-Q’s Entrepreneurial Mentor, said “The Innovation Challenge resulted in pioneering business ideas that students were truly passionate about, and yielded business ideas that could be very successful new start-up enterprises in Qatar.”