MUSCAT, 28 March 2017 – Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, celebrated outstanding SME initiatives by women entrepreneurs as the second edition of al Wathbah Businesswomen's Awards were presented at a ceremony held at the bank's head office in the presence of dignitaries and top Management Team members.
The awards witnessed strong competition based on the criteria of creativity and innovation, financial performance, leadership and commitment, sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Standing out with unique projects, the top three awards were won by Shaima Al Lawati, promoter of Al Wujha Sustainability Company; Zamzam Al Subhi, owner of Manaber Al Marfa Private Kindergarten; and Aisha Babood, promoter of White Hands Center for Assistive Technology for Rehabilitation.
Commending the award winners, AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive, said: “Bank Muscat congratulates the enterprising women entrepreneurs for making a mark with successful business initiatives. The innovative business ideas reflect their determination and commitment to pursue unique business dreams. We wish them greater success in serving the community as role models for the youth and other entrepreneurs. Complementing the government efforts to develop the SME sector, the support to SMEs and women entrepreneurs stem from the bank's commitment to facilitate self-employment opportunities for youth who constitute more than 50 per cent of the country's population."
Waleed Al Hashar, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, said: “Bank Muscat is happy to support women entrepreneurs to embark on sustainable self-employment business initiatives. al Wathbah Businesswomen's Award comes as part of the bank's 'Let's Do More' vision and commitment to partnership in supporting women entrepreneurs for making a mark with successful business projects. Committed to supporting economic growth and sustainable development, the bank seizes every opportunity to reiterate partnership in building the nation by creating opportunities for individuals and businesses to grow and prosper."
Fatma Al Maskiry, AGM – SME Credit, Marketing and Regional Corporates, said: “Bank Muscat's al Wathbah department is proud to have initiated a series of innovative programmes benefiting SMEs. The annual al Wathbah Businesswomen's Award is aimed at appreciating and recognising Omani women entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence in diversified fields of business. We are happy that al Wathbah Businesswomen's Award has established a benchmark for business initiatives by Omani women entrepreneurs and is able to showcase their successes and contribution towards the community. The award complements the series of initiatives launched by the bank as part of a comprehensive plan to support women entrepreneurs in Oman."
The eligibility for the award included that applicants must be Omani women with registered or home-based business. All women registered with Bank Muscat al Wathbah Women Business Forum were eligible to apply for the award.
The distinguished award jury panel included the bank Management executives and external members namely Malak Al Shaibani, Director General of the National Business Center, KOM, and Khaula Al Harthy, Executive Director of Injaz Oman.
In all, eight finalists were shortlisted from diverse fields ranging from engineering, consultancy, health, handicrafts and traditional confectionary. The shortlisted finalists included Tufool Al Dhahab, promoter of Adams Heaven; Atousa bint Dawood Khan, owner of Khanco LLC; Zulfa Al Barwani, promoter of Zulfa Al Barwani LLC; Shadiya Al Ismaili, owner of Deema Oman; and Lamya Al Kharusi, promoter of Al Lamya LLC.
Shaima Al Lawati, the first prize winner, thanked Bank Muscat for the big support extended to women entrepreneurs in Oman. “I am deeply honoured to win this award which is a major boost for women entrepreneurs to embark on self-employment initiatives."
The bank's al Wathbah SME department looks forward to continuing its support of SMEs by offering a comprehensive suite of tailor-made finance solutions and non-financial services targeted at small and medium enterprises. …
Serving as building blocks for existing and prospective entrepreneurs, all these initiatives assume importance in the backdrop of the priority accorded by the government to develop the SME sector in Oman.