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Bank Muscat extends lead support to Open Minds forum

MUSCAT, 27 August 2014 – Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, has extended lead support to the Open Minds forum featuring the world's 10 iconic entrepreneurs, including Richard Branson, Lord Jeffrey Archer, HRH Basmah bint Saud Al Saud, Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler, Omani scholar Sheikh Khalfan Al Esry and others.

The 2-day thought leadership forum organised by Black & White magazine on 3 and 4 September at Al Bustan Palace Hotel, is aimed at sharing unique life experiences of global leaders in entrepreneurial ventures and transferring critical knowledge to young Omani entrepreneurs.

Bank Muscat is gratified to facilitate the unique opportunity to interact with some of the world's brightest minds who have made outstanding contributions as entrepreneurs. The forum will be a great learning experience to gain insight into the challenges and opportunities in developing successful entrepreneurial ventures of global scale.

The initiative to support the forum stems from the bank's constant efforts to maintain the leadership role in the Omani banking industry. As the trusted partner of the largest banking family in Oman, Bank Muscat is committed to supporting initiatives in various fields beneficial to citizens and the nation.

Bank Muscat is a strong supporter of the government policy to encourage individual initiatives for self-employment. The support to SMEs stems from the bank's commitment to create self-employment opportunities for youth who constitute more than 50 per cent of the country's population.

Building up on the series of initiatives in support of SMEs, Bank Muscat recently unveiled al Wathbah Academy for training entrepreneurs in Oman, leading to accredited international certification.

Aimed at strengthening the SME sector, the bank's SME department, al Wathbah, offers a comprehensive suite of tailor-made finance solutions. A unique SME financing programme launched by the bank has helped entrepreneurs overcome challenges arising from the requirement of collateral guarantee for SME finance. al Wathbah SME Non-Collateral Programme not requiring collateral guarantee is a bold step affirming the bank's commitment to encouraging an entrepreneurial culture in Oman.

The bank has also launched a series of initiatives as part of a comprehensive plan to support women entrepreneurs in Oman. The bank regularly conducts workshops and seminars to equip SMEs to identify business opportunities and tackle challenges. Serving as building blocks for existing and prospective entrepreneurs, these initiatives assume importance in the backdrop of the priority accorded by the government to develop the SME sector in Oman.