As part of its strategy to attract and empower young entrepreneurs and spread the entrepreneurial mind-set across the Sultanate, the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), in close cooperation with the Zubair Small Enterprises Centre (Zubair SEC), held engaging sessions in various governorates in the Sultanate to highlight key challenges that entrepreneurs face and to make recommendations on how best to address such concerns.
Business advisors of Zubair SEC visited Musandam, Al Buraimi, Al Thaahra, Al Sharqiyah North, Al Dakhiliya, and Al Sharqiyah South between the 3rd to the 24th of March 2014 in collaboration with the OCCI branches in these governorates.
Engagement sessions were held with entrepreneurs and business owners from different sectors, age groups and both genders who expressed high interest in taking their businesses further, or bringing to light new business concepts. The sessions highlighted the importance of proper skills, innovation and strategic management needed in the SME sector these days to perform up to the needs and aspirations of the Omani economy. The sessions also presented important elements of successful business planning, how to assess a business concept, challenges faced in starting a business, and how to develop effective competitive advantages.
Board Chairmen of OCCI branches across the visited governorates expressed their high appreciation of the efforts of Zubair SEC to extend all their support towards achieving the desired results of supporting, educating, and sharing best practices in starting and growing business with entrepreneurs in all governorates.
Furthermore, one of the roadshow’s key objectivises was to meet and greet young entrepreneurs – men and women – residing in the various governorates and to emphasize that the services offered to entrepreneurs by the Centre extend to them as well without any exception. Such services include direct access to the Centre’s experts for business advisory services and the opportunity to connect with the respective staff in person or through various e-channels; management tools such as business plan templates, organisational structure options, and feasibility studies; professional, educational and social programmes and events held regularly for small enterprises, including seminars, training workshops, and networking engagements; professional research, numerous publications, and industry prospectus on topics related to entrepreneurship; facilitated communication and interaction among fellow small enterprises; access to the Centre’s strategic partners; facilitated communication with selected financial institutions and reputable business corporations; preferred prices, offers and benefits from both local and national partners interested in assisting SEs; advisory services by expert mentors; and financial support for selected entrepreneurs.
Commenting on the response received throughout the roadshow so far, Zubair SEC Business Advisory Adel Al Hubaishi said: “We are very pleased with the outcome so far. The sessions were very interactive and thought provoking. The halls were filled with entrepreneurs – men and women of all ages – sharing their experiences, requesting feedback on business challenges and learning and listening attentively to the best practices experienced by the Centre so far. This kind of response only pleases me as my task and mandate has now been re-validated to outside of the borders of Muscat; me and my team’s reach will definitely have further visits to the distinct governorates providing our business advisory support services”.
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.
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