MUSCAT, 24 November 2012 – The first-of-its-kind Al Wathbah Business Zone launched by Bank Muscat to extend support for the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector has evoked good response from entrepreneurs. The dedicated facility was launched for the use of entrepreneurs who lack office facilities.
Ilham Al Hamaid, AGM – SME Credit & Marketing, said: “Bank Muscat is proud to launch the unique Al Wathbah Business Zone which addresses a long-felt need of entrepreneurs in Oman. The facility has evoked good response from entrepreneurs with start-up ventures. All Bank Muscat SME customers are entitled to use the facility free of charge on the basis of advance reservations. We encourage all SMEs to benefit from this facility.”
Ilham Al Hamaid added: “Al Wathbah Business Zone is aimed at helping entrepreneurs to address the challenges faced by SME business and to provide an environment critical to SME success. A number of prospective entrepreneurs face challenges in taking forward their business plans for want of required support and facilities. Al Wathbah Business Zone addresses this issue and helps entrepreneurs to promote and establish their business ventures.”
Ilham Al Hamaid said: “Bank Muscat is a strong supporter of the government policy to encourage self-employment and facilitate an entrepreneurial environment in Oman. The bank plays a vital role in supporting SME businesses that contribute to the diversification of the economy, encourage self-employment and maximise the business potentials and entrepreneurship amongst the country’s youth.”
Al Wathbah Business Zone located in Bank Muscat head office can be used free of cost by SME customers to host business meetings. The facilities include a meeting room with printer, copier, scanner, flip charts, PC and projector. The facility is available to SMEs on a first come, first served basis. Requests are to be made by e-mail to alwathbahzone[at]bankmuscat.com two working days in advance. Meetings are to be held during regular Bank Muscat operational hours, Sunday through Thursday (8.00 am to 3.00 pm) and the duration of meetings is limited to 2 hours to ensure maximum utilisation of the zone by entrepreneurs.
Over the years Bank Muscat has taken several strategic steps to strengthen the SME sector in Oman. The Bank Muscat support to SMEs stems from the strong belief that SMEs help boost the local economy, contribute to the GDP and create self-employment opportunities for youth who constitute more than 50 per cent of the country’s population.
Al Wathbah, Bank Muscat’s small and medium enterprise (SME) department, has been very dynamic in financing businesses and strengthening the SME foundation in Oman. Aimed at strengthening the SME sector, Bank Muscat offers a comprehensive suite of tailor-made finance solutions. Early this year, the bank partnered with the Ministry of Commerce & Industry to launch the government guaranteed loan programme in support of SMEs.