Muscat: As Bank Muscat, launches the first-of-its-kind online networking forum for women entrepreneurs, 'Al Wathbah Businesswomen's Forum,' it will go a long way in unleashing the entrepreneurial potential of the women in Oman.
Presiding over the launch ceremony held at Bank Muscat's headquarters on Monday, Manal Mohammed Al Abduwani, chairperson of the Oman Flour Mills, said that the unique initiative will benefit women entrepreneurs in Oman as it offers a platform where women can interact, share best practices, expand their horizons and create a powerful network of businesses.
"The forum will serve as a source of inspiration and encouragement for women to embark on small and medium enterprises (SME) initiatives and thereby contribute towards progress and development in Oman," she added.
Though it is estimated that there are not too many women entrepreneurs in Oman but the percentage is growing every year and such initiatives will certainly offer an opportunity to them to showcase their products with a view to empowering women through entrepreneurship.
Abdul Razaq Ali Issa, chief executive of Bank Muscat, who also graced the occasion, said: "In an environment where competition is becoming tougher, identifying and seizing opportunities is essential for the Omani SMEs to survive and grow. Al Wathbah Businesswomen's Forum is aimed at helping women entrepreneurs to identify opportunities to successfully promote their SME operations. The forum is designed to inspire and engage women as entrepreneurs and propel their business with easy techniques."
Dedicated web portal
Making a presentation, Ahlam Ali Al Farsi, SME accounts relationship manager, explained, "Al Wathbah Businesswomen's Forum brings professional women together to provide them with leadership development opportunities, new ways of thinking and vital connections that help them advance and succeed in their businesses.
All women entrepreneurs who either have their own businesses or own large a portion of shares in a business entity or who would like to enter business are eligible to register and benefit from this group. The primary goal of Al Wathbah Businesswomen's Forum is to provide a common platform for networking with other businesswomen in addition to facilitating opportunities for SME development programmes.
The dedicated web portal allows registered women entrepreneurs to engage in live networking. The portal will be updated on a regular basis to highlight relevant topics on business and other issues related to women. The business profiles of all the members will be featured on the portal to enable effective networking among the women entrepreneurs, besides guidelines on how to start business and how to prepare business plan.
Contact details of ministries and other organisations where women can obtain support for setting up SMEs will also be available on the portal. The members can also enjoy more benefits such as live accelerated networking events.