In line with their continuous support to the small and medium-sized enterprises sector, Muscat Grand Mall and the Public Authority for SME Development have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop an area up to 2,500 square meters which would include space for 50 retail outlets for the growing SME sector in Oman. The stores will be rented at nominal prices to entrepreneurs who are registered with the Public Authority and the Al Rafd Fund for period ranging between one and three years. By taking space in the middle of Muscat’s favorite retail destination, SME’s will be able to rapidly grow their business and build awareness for their brand and products.
Discussing this pioneering initiative, Hassan Jaboub, General Manager of Muscat Grand Mall commented, “At Muscat Grand Mall, we are cognizant of the significant role that the small and medium sector businesses play in developing economies worldwide, and especially in the Sultanate. Since the inception of the Tilal Complex, and our premium project MGM, we have hosted and supported small entrepreneurs, giving them a platform to demonstrate their products – be it at any stage of the business cycle. We are proud to mention that over 25% of the brands housed with our mall belong to the SME sector. This initiative in association with the Public Authority for SME Development is indeed a milestone. The SME retail centre will cater to new entrepreneurs and give them a direct opportunity to run their establishment in the professional environment while working in tandem with a large number of global and regional brands. We believe that this practical exposure will not only benefit budding young business people, but will also give them a chance to showcase their abilities to a larger audience – in a destination such as MGM which attracts more than 25 thousand visitors every day.”
Sharing his thoughts on this new development, Mr. Khalifa Said Salim Al Abri, Acting CEO of the Public Authority for SME Development noted, “It is the onus of the Public Authority to enhance the role of SMEs in the community while ensuring that they have all the support they need to contribute to the Omani economy. This new SME retail centre is a step towards exactly this vision. The entrepreneurs will spend up to three years in the new centre developing their administrative, accounting and leadership skills under the guidance of industry experts and will emerge independent and more confident to run their own businesses in the future.”
The new centre will also provide support to SMEs through funding, in addition to design, promotional and marketing campaigns that will attract the public’s attention to their businesses – which will positively impact the brand development and sales proceeds.
Mr. Khalifa Al Abri also added, “As a part of our association, we will work together with MGM to support entrepreneurs in various ways to meet their training, financing and promotional needs which are all vital to the success of a business. Being a leader in their industry, MGM will be able to provide insights into running a prosperous retail business and these inputs will be very valuable to the young entrepreneurs.”
“We, at Muscat Grand Mall are looking forward to working with budding business owners and to help their ideas mature into a successful businesses. Starting from advice with regard to décor and fit-out, working hours, quality of products and customer relationship management, we will be able to shape the entrepreneurs’ mindsets so as to match international retail standards. Establishing these standards and practices early into the life cycle of the business will enhance skills and competitiveness so that he/she will be ready to deal with any work environment. I am very confident of the success of the project and am sure that this centre will become an incubator where SME’s will learn best practices and will go on to become business leaders of the future.”, Hassan Jaboub added.
The new SME retail centre initiative in Muscat Grand Mall is the first joint initiative between the Public Authority for SME Development representing the public sector, and Muscat Grand Mall, a representative of the private sector, in a joint venture to serve a vital and important sector such as SMEs.
The Public Authority for SME Development is planning to use this initiative as a showcase to share experiences throughout various governorates of the Sultanate to encourage a number of retail centres similar to provide services to entrepreneurs in the Sultanate. Establishments such as these will guarantee that entrepreneurs will be able to materialize their business ideas no matter which part of Oman they belong to.
The SME retail centre reflects positively on the widespread development among all regions and Wilayats across Oman, in line with the vision of His Majesty the Sultan. Business facilities such as these will also generate more employment opportunities for young Omanis in the SME sector, which is the focus of the Government of the Sultanate for the past few years.
The new SME retail centre will be located on the third floor of the Muscat Grand Mall, occupying an area of up to 2,500 square meters. It has been designed to include 19 shops with equal amount of area, in addition to 31 kiosks to showcase products from different entrepreneurs. The concept and design have taken into account that the products displayed will reflect the diversity and excellence of the nation to form a new and attractive addition to Muscat Grand Mall – Oman’s most dynamic shopping destination.
As the fastest growing lifestyle hub in the Sultanate offering choice and convenience for shoppers and residents, as part of a combined leisure experience, Muscat Grand Mall boasts over than 130 stores, a three-screen cinema, high-end residences and office space, in addition to hosting the largest food court in Oman, Muscat Grand Mall is also home to leading global brands which will also shape the environment in which the new SME retail centre entrepreneurs will operate and grow in.
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