MUSCAT, 7 December 2012 – Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, and the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) have joined hands to organize a 2-day SME workshop, open for all. The exclusive Al Wathbah workshop, beginning tomorrow (Sunday, 9 December 2012) at the bank's head office, is designed to inspire and engage existing and prospective entrepreneurs and propel their projects with easy business techniques. Expert trainers from IFC will lead the sessions and share insights on topics critical to laying a strong foundation as an entrepreneur. The workshop will focus on using and analyzing financial statements and improving selling skills. Topics to be covered include the role of accounting in the decision making process, balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement etc. A session on improving selling skills will focus on getting customer attention and creating a desire to buy and successfully closing a deal. Panel discussions have also been lined up spotlighting successful Bank Muscat SME clients. The discussions will highlight the importance of financial statements in managing business and access to finance. Ilham al Hamaid, AGM – SME Credit, Marketing and Regional Corporates, said: “Small businesses are a vital part of the Omani economy and Bank Muscat is proud to join hands with IFC in helping entrepreneurs to address the challenges faced by SME business and provide an environment critical to SME success. Bank Muscat and IFC are close partners in facilitating financing access to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Oman to help them expand and create jobs. Notably, Bank Muscat offers big support to women-owned businesses, helping them become more active players in the Omani economy." Over the years, Bank Muscat has taken several strategic steps to strengthen the SME sector in Oman. 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. The bank also recently launched the first-of-its-kind Al Wathbah Business Zone, a unique facility that addresses a long-felt need of entrepreneurs in Oman. The business zone can be used free of cost by SME customers who do not have their own office space. The bank regularly conducts workshops and seminars aimed at equipping SMEs to identify business opportunities and tackle challenges.