Over 20 members of the OABC along with H E Greta C Holtz, US Ambassador to the sultanate and Dr Salim Ruzaiqi, CEO of Information Technology Authority (ITA) met Omani small business owners during a Sas Entrepreneurship Programme at the Knowledge Oasis Muscat on Tuesday.

The visitors toured ITA’s SME incubator, its Virtual Reality Training Center and heard experiences of the SME owners. The Sas programme aims to encourage innovative IT entrepreneurs who can contribute to job creation in non-oil sectors.

Ali Daud, chairman, OABC, said, “Alongside OABC’s current initiatives, the council is proud to announce that it will sponsor membership of 13 SMEs from the Sas Incubator to join OABC for one year. I believe this period will be beneficial for both SMEs from Sas and current OABC members, who will get a chance to meet local talent and appreciate the services they provide. On behalf of OABC, I would like to advise our new members to take advantage of the opportunities offered, including events, networking, and a chance to meet senior management from well-known local and multinational companies.”

Daud added that the OABC board of directors encourages its members to participate in CSR initiatives in Oman, particularly when it comes to supporting entrepreneurship.

“During the Global Entrepreneurship Week last November, OABC launched an SME mentoring programme in which OABC members – senior and top managers – held one-on-one meetings with Omani entrepreneurs to help them develop business plans, shared knowledge and discussed best practices for operating businesses.”

Fouad Eid from Dover Middle East and one of the OABC board directors said, “Six months ago, I decided to volunteer as a mentor for OABC’s SME initiative. I meet my mentee once a month for an hour, but we have already made some progress and I am proud of the results she is achieving.

“I would encourage SMEs to explore this opportunity. All they have to do is fill a form on our website and send it to us along with their CV.”
Additional opportunities offered by OABC include sponsoring entrepreneurs for the annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit, hosting a ‘Best Internship Practices’ workshop at Sultan Qaboos University’s career fair, organising a recent Labour Law workshop with SASLO Legal Training Center, as well a speed networking event.

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