In support of entrepreneurship in Oman, Oman Arab Bank (OAB) and Zubair Small Enterprises Centre (Zubair SEC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) towards collaboratively enabling, empowering and equipping Omani small enterprises (SEs) through the various services that both institutions provide.
The MoU was signed under the patronage of Rashad Mohammad Al Zubair, Chairman of both The Zubair Corporation and Oman Arab Bank, on 13 April 2014 at the headquarters of The Zubair Corporation, with the presence of top management representatives from both organisations.
“Recognising the strong drive for social responsibility by Oman Arab Bank and The Zubair Corporation, especially towards the burgeoning small enterprises (SEs) sector in the Sultanate, this agreement reflects yet another endeavour by both organisations to create SEs-empowering synergies with other core sectors,” commented Rashad Mohammad Al Zubair. He added, “We are very excited for this new partnership between two reputable organisations that persevere towards adopting distinguished and strategic initiatives that create tangible sustainable value for the national society and economy in the Sultanate.”
Many Omani entrepreneurs start their businesses with a lot of enthusiasm, believing that attaining the needed financing would be the main factor for achieving success. Yet, many fall short on providing the required documentation and strategic planning required by financial institutions to provide them with the needed funding. On the other hand, a key part of the banks’ mandate is to extend credit facilities to small enterprises in Oman, but they are usually challenged with the high risk of financing entrepreneurs who many times operate on weak business grounds. Hence, the agreement between OAB and Zubair SEC aims at assisting entrepreneurs on becoming more business savvy by providing them with comprehensive business advisory support in all facets of their operations and equipping them with various possible credit facilities by the bank.
Based on the agreement, Zubair SEC will be receiving entrepreneurs sent through by OAB who request financial assistance but lack sound business knowledge. Zubair SEC on its part will provide them with business advisory and consultation to complete their business value proposition to the Bank. OAB, through “Tomouhy” Department, will also prioritize funding approvals to entrepreneurs referred to it by Zubair SEC and that meet the Bank’s approved policy and guidelines. In addition, the bank will provide yet another viable option to exploring various credit facilities, from working capital finance to term loan for capital expenditure, to contracts and equipment finance, to import and export finance as well as a window for entrepreneurs to take advantage of the 50% Government Guaranteed Programmed, a joint programme with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Oman Development Bank.
Filtering criteria were jointly developed by OAB and Zubair SEC to give preference to the most credible entrepreneurs for funding. Those entrepreneurs will be better equipped to apply for capital funding and sustain such growth. 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 70 small businesses and around 100 entrepreneurs from all sectors of the economy to benefit from its services and support.
The ‘Tomouhy’ Department at Oman Arab Bank is dedicated to provide the necessary financial solutions to Small and Medium Enterprises, as the bank believes in the pivotal role that these enterprises have in developing the national economy through providing employment opportunities and encouraging self-employment. Attaining timely financing is the key to make the most of business opportunities; as such, Oman Arab Bank offers innovative financial products that can make all the difference to entrepreneurial business success.
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