Complex Made Simple

Zubair SEC advises on creating shared value in Oman

In line with its direction towards leveraging both business and social values for entrepreneurs and business owners, Zubair Small Enterprises Centre (Zubair SEC) has been investing effort in creating awareness and providing guidance on best practices for social impact, corporate responsibility, and sustainable development in the Sultanate.

Introducing The Creation of Shared Value – one of the most recent social impact practices worldwide – Zubair SEC has run several workshops and sessions approaching different audience segments including corporate social responsibility (CSR) /sustainability executives, business entrepreneurs, and university students in a number of university colleges.

Most recently, Zubair SEC took part in CSR Oman Conference on 29 October that was attended by executives and practitioners in the areas of social impact and CSR from across multiple sectors in the Sultanate and the region. The conference shed the light on multiple topics relating to corporations and NGOs’ social performance and the opportunities and challenges they face globally and in the Sultanate. International, regional and local speakers enriched the agenda with insight, knowledge, and practical case studies for CSR. The conference also provided a venue for networking amongst experts in the field from different sectors.

At the conference, Lina Hussein, Communications Manager and Social Impact Advisor at Zubair SEC gave a presentation on how to run business differently while creating both economic and social value, and elaborated on The Creation of Shared Value which is one of the latest notions in social impact worldwide that is picking up momentum and interest amongst private and public sectors. Being first certified Shared Value Consultants in the Arab World, Lina discusses in her similar presentations a number of corporate examples on how to implement the Creation of Shared Value and taps into available opportunities in Oman and the region, with focus on socio-economic development when it comes to the small and medium enterprises sector.

“Corporate social impact and responsibility worldwide has taken leaps of progress in the past few years. Stakeholders and clients from multiple sectors have changed their perception of the role of business in society and of how mere philanthropic efforts no matter how great might not suffice. Based on latest studies, more than 60% of consumers believe that businesses need to change the way they operate to become more responsible and support larger societal issues sustainably. As such, the key question for the private sector would be how to sustain their social impact in a scalable manner independent of the fluctuations in the economy, and self-sustainable in a way that would create shared value on both the economic and social levels,” said Lina Hussein. She added: “At Zubair SEC we put all effort to incorporate the latest in CSR and social impact in the mindset of our members to equip them to run their small businesses in a responsible and sustainable manner at all stages of their business lifecycle.”

As part of its advisory services, Zubair SEC has been providing insight, tools and guidance to a number of its members on how to create social value through their businesses. A good number of its members have already been incorporating social value in their business models and believe that this approach of running business has been rewarding on multiple levels for them.

Zubair SEC is one of the initiatives which emanated from The Zubair Corporation’s Social Responsibility strategic vision towards the Omani society. The vision reflects the corporation’s belief in the importance of small enterprises (SEs) in enhancing the national economy and contributing to sustainable socio-economic development. The centre comprises a team of socially engaged and business savvy advisors who put all effort to contribute to leveraging the Omani community through equipping and enabling entrepreneurs and start-ups to grow with their businesses in a sustainable and responsible manner. Since its launch in 2013, Zubair SEC has joined to its membership 200 small businesses and around 220 entrepreneurs from all sectors of the economy to benefit from its services and support.