Sharakah, Oman's premier entrepreneurship development company, has been contributing to the country’s ICV (In-Country Value) goals, by promoting innovation and technology and supporting SME development and sustainability.
Sharakah CEO Ali bin Ahmed Muqaibal said: “Our focus has always been on supporting the growth of Oman's SME sector, creating new job opportunities, and contributing to the growth of the national economy. Sharakah has been instrumental in promoting entrepreneurship in Oman, contributing to the country's ICV goals, supporting ICT, and SME development. Sharakah's efforts align with Oman’s Vision 2040 to build a productive, diversified economy founded on innovation, knowledge, and opportunities.”
He added: “We are committed to supporting the development and sustainability of SMEs in Oman and promoting entrepreneurship as a key driver of economic growth. Through our various initiatives and programmes, we are helping to build a more sustainable and diversified economy in Oman, while also creating new job opportunities and fostering innovation.”
As the country works towards achieving its Vision 2040 goals, Sharakah is strategically focused on promoting ICV projects, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and knowledge-based economy is contributing to building a sustainable and diversified market.
Through its various programmes and initiatives, Sharakah is empowering entrepreneurs and nurturing a thriving ecosystem that fosters innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship in Oman.
Sharakah and ICV
Sharakah has been conducting awareness sessions at local colleges, and universities, and participating in relevant seminars in the community to build more awareness about its services. In recent years, Sharakah has delivered several workshops to over 1,700 potential business owners.
For example, its popular ‘Calculate it Right’ workshops take the participants through an immersive, and challenging yet informative session, helping those who are planning to start a business understand the core requirements they will need and to project realistic sales assumptions, to calculate project cost, operational expenses, required resources, and the cost of capital.
Sharakah’s partnership with BP Oman’s Khazzan Programme for SME Development has helped to support the development of SMEs in Oman. The programme assesses selected SMEs in seven different categories, including compliance, product/service quality, marketing, communication, HR, finance and financial track record and policies. A grant from BP Oman is given to these SMEs for improving their workings as per Sharakah’s assessment.
Sharakah also organises programmes such as Zaad Al Ruwad, which is an interactive workshop where participants can enhance their practical business knowledge. The workshop covers the fundamentals of running a business, including: selection of the best location for the business, cost planning, product, service pricing, resource allocation, managing a business, utilising opportunities, and dealing with challenges. Sharakah has conducted virtual Zaad Al Ruwad workshops in collaboration with BP Oman Social Investment Programmes partners, which included local companies with programmes targeting entrepreneurship.
Innovation and technology
Sharakah has been providing financial support to new projects in the field of innovation and technology through its equity scheme for innovation and technology. It may be recalled that Sharakah showed commitment to supporting Oman’s Economic Stimulus Plan (ESP) endorsed by the Council of Ministers and approved by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik in 2021 by introducing a new Equity Scheme for Innovation and Technology. Sharakah’s equity scheme is certified to be Sharia-compliant and provides equity participation in projects that are ready to be launched in the market and commercialised.
The scheme has several eligibility requirements, including investment amounts between OMR10,000 ($25,936) and OMR50,000, a ready prototype for commercialisation, and clear exit strategies. The Equity scheme aims to support businesses that will provide employment opportunities and contribute to community development, promoters who have adequate skills to manage the business, start-ups, and existing high-growth companies.
Oman's Vision 2040
Sharakah’s goals align with Oman’s Vision 2040, a 20-year nationwide multisector document representing a guide and key reference for planning activities. Sharakah's new five-year strategy has been realigned with market conditions, in accordance with Oman's Vision 2040.
The strategy now includes support for a wider range of industries beyond information technology, engineering, manufacturing, services, and food industries. This support extends to transformative industries such as hydroponic farms, fish processing, logistics, tourism, technology, and innovation.
By expanding the sectors, it supports, Sharakah aims to encourage more SMEs to participate and contribute to the country's GDP. Additionally, as part of this effort, Sharakah has planned educational programmes and workshops focused on national priorities such as education and learning, which will be held across Oman.
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