In line with the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), a series of events to mark the week kicked off yesterday (Sunday) at the National Business Centre under the auspices of Khalifa bin Said Al Abri, CEO of the Public Authority for SMEs Development.
Focusing on the concept of ‘SMEs beyond borders’ and held during the period from 15th to 19th November, the Global Entrepreneurship Week also come in line with the Sultanate’s celebrations of the 45th National Day.
Al Abri affirmed that the activities of GEW Oman shall further promote a culture of entrepreneurship, support the SMEs and highlight successful models in this field to inspire and motivate potential entrepreneurs. Al Abri noted that there is a joint cooperation between Riyada and the National Business Centre to mark a success for the series of events of GEW. He added that since the symposium that was held at Seih Al Shamikhat, there has been a great awareness generated among Omani youths to turn their innovative business ideas into a reality.
On her part, Malak Al Shaibani, Director General of NBC, said, “NBC, which pertains to the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE), is privileged to organise this event for the third consecutive year in cooperation with a number of local institutions that support entrepreneurship. This event is celebrated by more than 140 countries worldwide and this year it is concentrating on going beyond the local borders and exploring and reaching other markets worldwide. This eventually plays a pivotal role in accelerating growth, creating new job opportunities and increasing the added value of the national economy.”
Al Shaibani added that GEW Oman shall allow participants to learn and benefit from the valuable experiences of successful entrepreneurs. “By meeting and networking with a lineup of experienced entrepreneurs, participants will be able to learn about the key elements of forming an apt environment that encourages entrepreneurial growth and innovation,” she pointed out.
She thanked the various supporting local institutions comprising Public Authority for SMEs Development (Riyada), National Bank of Oman, Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic), Mint Marketing, Youth Vision, ITA’s SAS, Sharakah, Protiviti, Al Tumooh Al Shamikh and Al Balad Digital Solutions.
Main engine of growth
Addressing the audience, Leen Atassi, Head of Corporate Communications and CSR at the National Bank of Oman, said: “The traditional role of banks is changing and I am proud to say that NBO is at the forefront of this trend. Banks used to be service providers and facilitators. Today, they are enablers of economic growth and opportunity, particularly for the SME sector. Entrepreneurs provide one of the main engines of growth in any healthy economy. They act as vital agents of change by developing new products and services, implementing more efficient production methods, and creating new business models and industries. They generate jobs, support local communities and build prosperous societies.”
Atassi added, “For more than four decades, since its creation in 1973 through to today, NBO has uniquely understood and appreciated the fundamental role that entrepreneurs and SMEs play in creating strong and diversified economies which generate employments and prosperity for all. NBO is passionate about helping these essential pillars of the economy to reach their full potential by providing them with access to both financial and non-financial services. With leadership, provision of the right education, opportunities and strong public and private associations, Oman should be able to tap the huge resource of talented young entrepreneurs and make entrepreneurship a stimulus for prosperity. It is clearly an exciting time to be an entrepreneur in the Sultanate.”
Day one of GEW Oman comprised a key note entitled ‘Making a mark in the fashion industry’ by Nadia and Lubna Al Zakwani of Endemage; a panel discussion featuring CEO roundtable; in addition to the participation of SME Clinic featuring Rasha Al Mahrouqi, Business and Risk Consultant in SME Advisory Services at Protiviti, who diagnoses and analyses problems and constraints of any emerging company.
It should be noted that the events of GEW Oman are taking place in KOM 4 Building at the Knowledge Oasis Muscat. GEW is recognised as the world’s largest celebration of innovators and job creators who work together to help bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. The purpose of this initiative is to connect experts and entrepreneurs across Oman and sectors to unleash their ideas and transform innovative ideas into reality. It also comes to encourage entrepreneurs in Oman to be more visible and help them in their efforts to launch and scale.
The National Business Centre is an initiative of the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates that aims at offering promising Omani entrepreneurs a platform to develop their business ideas and advance them into growing ventures. The centre provides business development support and guidance, training and mentoring, access to markets and industry experts, and state-of-the-art and fully equipped office space, meeting rooms and presentation facilities.