Diving into the world of entrepreneurship has never been more exciting. This is especially the case in Qatar, which was ranked 9th on the list of top countries for entrepreneurs by the National Entrepreneurial Context Index (NECI) 2021. If you’re reading this article, it probably means that you are interested in launching your own startup – you may have the right skill set to serve the market but are unsure of where to start. Does this sound like you? If it does, you’re in the right place.
Fortunately, the Curia Business Innovation program was designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs in your exact position! We see the potential in Qatar’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and talent and have created an innovation experience tailored to your needs. Our 12-week program supports the journey of an entrepreneur from ideation to successful startup launch, through a myriad of workshops, one-on-one consultation and mentorship.
Sounds interesting but you don’t have an idea? We know that finding your niche as an entrepreneur can be challenging. This first article in the 3C series will help you start asking the right questions and find your way to a billion-riyal business idea.
It’s easier to be motivated by an idea if it affects you, someone you know or something close to home. Some of the best startups were created because they solved issues that directly impacted the founders. Here are some questions you could ask yourself:
What troubles you in your day-to-day life? What situations aggravate your family or friends on a regular basis? These could even be slight annoyances – little mishaps that you could rather live without.
Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp were complaining to each other after a conference about how annoying finding a cab was. The next thing you know, they co-founded Uber – an app to find taxis at the right place and the right time.
So, the next time you find something annoying, note it down. Ask yourself: is this something that happens frequently? Are other people likely to find this annoying? The solution to this problem could very well be a great idea for a startup.
A niche can be difficult to find, but a great way to start is to think of hobbies or activities you like to take part in, in your spare time. This gives you an advantage since you’re likely to already have some knowledge or expertise in this area. This knowledge can also be used to target a niche within a specific industry.
Individuals who adopt a vegan diet often apply this philosophy to their entire lifestyle as well. With that in mind, some vegans may also prefer to feed their pets vegan food. This can be a niche market. You first start with people who are vegan, narrow it down to those who are pet owners and then target them with a specialized vegan meal for their fur babies.
Reflect on your and your loved ones’ lifestyles: is there something very specific you feel that you are missing out on because of your hobbies, habits or general routine?
Dealing with multiple stakeholders to complete a small transaction can be daunting, regardless of how seamless the process may seem.
Take insurance companies as an example. For years, it was often patients who had to speak to health insurance companies directly to request a procedure or reimbursement. Today, many health insurance companies have created a new process through which hospitals or medical practitioners can submit the needed information directly, without creating disruption or miscommunication in the process.
What processes do you often deal with that you think can be simplified for both end-users? Cutting out the middleman in a process can create a seamless operation as well as cut costs.
Many entrepreneurs, particularly those with for-purpose organizations, often start their business to better meet the needs of their communities or country. As a growing economy, Qatar still has some gaps in the market that the entrepreneurial ecosystem is working hard to fill.
This may sound rather straightforward; however, it is often underrated. Scrape news outlets, either newspapers or digital news sources, for the latest trending topics in Qatar. Pay attention to growing industries and rising public concerns. Some of the best ideas are often obvious solutions to common societal problems.
Big players in the country or industry often lead the innovative and transformative road. They will also often invest in research, partnerships or initiatives that support their mission and make a difference. Identify the big players across industries in Qatar – what topics and trends are they most concerned with or investing in?
With 2030 only 8 years away, there is no doubt that Qatar is gaining more momentum to achieve the QNV 2030. The QNV 2030 highlights four integral pillars to the continuous development, growth and prosperity of Qatar and its people. Which pillars hit home for you? How can you contribute to the vision in the next 8 years?
It’s no secret that the world has been in a tough position for a while now, especially when it comes to sustainability. In 2015, all members of the United Nations accepted the challenges brought on by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The blueprint serves as an urgent call for all nations to work together and solve some of the world’s most pressing issues – 17 to be exact.
These have been dubbed as the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to end poverty, improve health and education, reduce inequality, drive economic growth, tackle climate change and preserve our planet.1
Read through the SDGs in detail and reflect. Which issues do you relate to the most? Which initiatives are you most passionate about? As individuals, we often think about making the world better but do not take concrete actions to do so. Building your own startup may give you the boost you need to contribute to the reformation of the planet.
In case you’re worried that you can’t come up with an original idea, don’t worry because unique is overrated.
Everyone wants to be first. Entrepreneurs pride themselves on their creativity and it can be tempting to waste away your time racking your brain to come up with an idea that no one has done before. Instead, here are some ways you can capitalize on ideas that are already floating around:
If you look up your idea and find lots of other companies doing similar things, don’t be disappointed. Other entrepreneurs pursuing it is proof that there’s demand for your idea!
Facebook was not the first social media website. Mark Zuckerberg saw how restrictive Myspace was and kept pushing for features that would fundamentally change the way Facebook started out as, but these were what the users wanted. New ways to find friends, social games – the added flexibility of Facebook took the concept that Myspace popularized and surged it to another level.
Your business concept isn’t necessarily what’s going to differentiate you from your competitors. Your business execution will be. Rather than asking yourself how you could be different, find out how you can be better.
Lots of great new businesses are launched by entrepreneurs who have a clever spin on a concept that already exists. Examining the core relationship between a service and its consumers could provide you with the framework for your next business idea.
Turo is a platform that allows car owners to monetize their vehicles by linking them with car renters. Sound familiar? It’s dubbed “The Airbnb of Auto” for a reason. The industry similarities allow Turo to reap similar benefits too: neither company needs to spend on storing and maintaining the properties, because the properties and cars are owned by users themselves!
Take note of services or applications that leave you feeling fulfilled. Pay attention to the details in the process that add comfort to your experience, the features that make you say, “Oh, that’s all I have to do?” Use these as inspiration to see if you can deliver the same experience to a different market.
There are countless opportunities hidden within products that aren’t readily available to the entire market, or within traditionally underserved customer bases.
“Can I make this more accessible?” The Dollar Shave Club is a prime example of a company that asked themselves this question. Being fed up with the razor monopoly that charged exorbitant rates for unnecessary shave technology, they launched a much cheaper subscription model that delivered high-quality blades to customer doorsteps. Solving the frustrations of pricey name-brands opened their gate to a flood of subscribers looking for a good, cheap shave.
Consumers love to feel like they’re part of an exclusive community, but they also love affordability. See if you can promise the emotional engagement of a luxury good while also lowering its barrier of entry.
A collection of articles, trends and thoughts from our consultants at Curia. We strive to provide relevant content that will equip any business owner with information required to improve their business.