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Bank Muscat al Wathbah SME channel a boost for entrepreneurs

MUSCAT, 11 August 2015 – Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, has evoked good response to a dedicated online information channel launched for entrepreneurs as part of its commitment to sustainable social development and promoting the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector in Oman.

al Wathbah SME TV from Bank Muscat is the first educational video channel in the banking sector in Oman launched with the sole objective of helping SMEs gain 24/7 access to vital information that help drive their business further. The initiative came as part of the bank's commitment to sustainable social development, complementing government efforts in strengthening the role of SMEs in the economic development of Oman. The dedicated online channel for SME customers mainly include videos featuring experts sharing critical information on subjects that help SMEs gain in-depth understanding about business operations integral to succeed.

The primary objective of al Wathbah SME TV, accessible on Bank Muscat website, is to provide a common platform to educate and update SMEs on the latest rules, regulations, challenges and opportunities for SME business ventures etc. The SME channel is updated on a regular basis to highlight topics relevant to SMEs.

Ilham Al Hamaid, AGM – SME Credit, Marketing and Regional Corporates, said: “Bank Muscat is delighted to receive the positive response to al Wathbah SME channel aimed at providing relevant information, skills and guidance for entrepreneurs to establish successful business ventures in Oman. The information channel marks a clear progression of the well-defined strategy pursued by the bank in line with the directives of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to support the SME sector, especially youth, in Oman. In light of the business environment in Oman which offers tremendous opportunities and challenges for the SME sector, Bank Muscat remains committed to creating self-employment opportunities for citizens across the Sultanate."

Bank Muscat has launched a series of initiatives as part of a comprehensive strategy to support SMEs in Oman. 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.

Marking the 45th year of Oman's Renaissance anniversary under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Bank Muscat widened the scope of al Wathbah Academy training programme to benefit 45 beneficiaries. The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative is aimed at equipping youth with self-employment skills boosting the country's progress and development.

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

The bank regularly conducts workshops and seminars to equip SMEs to identify business opportunities and tackle challenges. The bank has also launched a series of initiatives to support women entrepreneurs. The support to SMEs and women empowerment initiatives stem from the bank's commitment to create self-employment opportunities for youth who constitute more than 50 per cent of the country's population.