Bahla: The participants at the Symposium on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) sent a cable of thanks and gratitude to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said for His Majesty's Royal directives for organising the three-day symposium at the Royal Camp at Saih Al Shamikhat which saw an impressive participation of members of the Council of Oman, dignitaries, officials from the private sector, entrepreneurs, academics, and representatives of the ministries and government departments among others.
Three agreements, forming part of the initiatives by the private sector, were signed on the sidelines of the symposium, which ended yesterday. Eng. Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidi, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council for Planning and Chairman of the Main Committee for the SMEs symposium, announced that the recommendations of the meeting included a package of applicable procedures that have been forwarded to His Majesty the Sultan, who gave wise directives towards them.
Five other initiatives were also introduced to improve the availability of jobs and to strengthen and support young entrepreneurs and SME development through training, mentoring, and technical and financial programmes.
The initiatives included the signing of a cooperation programme between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the private sector, for the sponsorship and adoption of 40 entrepreneurs by 10 CEOs or anyone with adequate scientific competence and experience with guidance, mentorship and support.
A ghaytoh (high time) programme was also signed between the Ministry of Education and the Oman Oil Company to promote the culture of entrepreneurship among students in schools.
The third initiative, submitted by the Oman-India Fertilizer Company, contains a programme to support and train 50 entrepreneurs, providing them with financial grants, supervision and a follow-up on the success of their businesses.
Five more initiatives by the private sector were introduced. Al-Farahidi Company for IT and Telecommunications will execute a Muscat-based project for IT and telecommunications, acting as a project incubator in this area in the Wilayat of Amerat, where shops and services would be provided free to young Omani entrepreneurs for a period of three years, in addition to the provision of technical support and assistance.
Another initiative by the Studio Company for Art Production and Distribution is the establishment of a new company dealing with graphic design, canning and packaging, where 40% of the company's capital will be distributed among three entrepreneurs, who will act as partners.
The third initiative by the National Bank of Oman includes advanced vocational and training programmes at the Academy of National Bank of Oman. This initiative provides training for 40 entrepreneurs.
Zubair Corporation announced an initiative to establish Zubair Centre, which will support small enterprises in selecting 10 small or promising initiatives annually and will provide them with a support consultant and administrative, financial and marketing support.
Josour Establishment has announced the introduction of a tailoring workshop, which will be run by 10 Omani women, in conjunction with the Ministry of Manpower. Josour will finance the new workshop, which will provide clothes to factories in the Sohar industrial area, and the Ministry of Manpower will provide training.
The Minister of Commerce and Industry said the signed agreements are very important because the first agreement, signed by 10 CEOs, provide that each company will sponsor four SMEs to help them become active global companies through administrative and technical care, marketing, packaging and design.