MUSCAT, 4 September 2016 – Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, marked the graduation of the new batch of al Wathbah Academy in Sohar under the auspices of H.E Shaikh Hilal bin Nasser A'Sadrani, Majlis Ash'Shura member representing the wilayat of Sohar.
Following the successful al Wathbah Academy programme in Muscat, the unique training programme leading to accredited international certification was launched in Sohar 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 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative is aimed at equipping youth and developing/growing SMEs with self-employment skills boosting the country's progress and development. H.E Shaikh Hilal bin Nasser A'Sadrani congratulated Bank Muscat for the successful completion of another batch of al Wathbah Academy in Sohar.
Fatma Al Maskiry, AGM – SME Credit and Marketing, said: “Bank Muscat is proud to celebrate the graduation of the first batch of al Wathbah Academy in Sohar. The unique initiative benefiting SMEs in Oman will play an important role in filling the gaps and empowering entrepreneurs to chart successful business ventures. The academy 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. In light of the business environment in Oman which offers tremendous opportunities and challenges for the SME sector, Bank Muscat remains committed to creating sustainable employment opportunities for citizens across the Sultanate."
The objective of al Wathbah Academy is to impart the required skills and guidance for entrepreneurs drawn from diverse fields to embark on successful SME business ventures. The 8-months training programme was offered in association with an experienced faculty and consultants, leading to accredited international certification by Project Management Institute (PMI).
Abdul Rahman Al Shizawi, Acting Regional Manager - North Batinah, said: “Bank Muscat congratulates all the enterprising entrepreneurs who have successfully completed the SME training programme. We appreciate the determination and commitment of the successful graduates to follow their business dreams by acquiring the required skills and knowledge through the unique programme."
Said Al Jabri, who spoke on behalf of the graduating batch, thanked Bank Muscat for the unique opportunity in gaining accredited international certification in SME training. The training helped to focus on key aspects essential to chart successful business ventures, he added.
Aimed at strengthening the SME sector, the bank's al Wathbah SME department offers a comprehensive suite of tailor-made finance solutions and non-financial services.
The bank has also launched a series of initiatives 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.
The support to SMEs and women entrepreneurs 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.