Supporting Entrepreneurship in Oman

New partnerships are enabling AMIDEAST to expand entrepreneurship training in Oman, one of several countries where AMIDEAST has established Cisco Entrepreneur Institutes to support the region’s drive to develop its entrepreneurial potential, create jobs, and promote sustainable economic growth.

Bank of Beirut Managing Director Remy Zambarkaji (left) and AMIDEAST Country Director Sarah Jackson (right) celebrate Bank of Beirut’s commitment to provide scholarships. Also shown are Pascal Faddoul of Bank of Beirut (far left) and AMIDEAST trainers Sharifa Al Barami and Mohammed Al Toki (far right).

A training session at the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute.

AMIDEAST/Oman recently received a commitment from Bank of Beirut to fund scholarships for 20 individuals to take the Starting a Business course offered through the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute. The two-month workshop, which is tailored for individuals who want to start a small to medium-size business or already operate one, offers a practical, step-by-step approach to writing a business plan. While built on curricula from business schools at Stanford and Cornell Universities and featuring online resources and networking, the course content has been localized to make it relevant to the Omani market. Local guest speakers’ insights into marketing strategies, regulatory procedures and funding sources add value to the course. Ten dynamic entrepreneurs are currently participating in the 48-hour course in English, and another 10 will join an Arabic course starting in December.

Funding from BankMuscat has also enabled AMIDEAST to expand its support for SME development in Oman by funding a daylong workshop in the city of Salalah in Dhofar region. Part of an effort to extend training in entrepreneurship beyond the country’s capital city, the event was also held in Arabic to maximize the outreach effort. Nearly 100 men and women learned about strategies and best practices that will enable them to develop an effective business plan, manage their finances, and evaluate their potential for growth. Because the majority of SMEs fail within the first three to five years of inception, and these failures are almost always related to operational and/or managerial oversights, the workshop also sought to shed light on the ingredients that are critical to SME success, with a particular focus on financing options.

“We are delighted to partner with BankMuscat and Bank of Beirut in promoting entrepreneurship in the Sultanate,” said Sarah Jackson, AMIDEAST country director for Oman. “With small businesses offering excellent opportunities for generating employment, encouraging innovation, and fueling economic growth, AMIDEAST is very pleased to be able to provide opportunities to Omani entrepreneurs that make their dreams a reality.”

AMIDEAST/Oman also looks forward to Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), scheduled for November 14-20, when as a featured partner it will be able to showcase the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute as a valuable resource for aspiring entrepreneurs in Oman.  AMIDEAST trainers certified by Cisco Entrepreneur Institute will deliver mini-workshops as part of GEW’s “Start-up Weekend,” featuring highlights from the Institute’s “Growing a Business” course. 

“Through our participation in Global Entrepreneurship Week, we will celebrate and facilitate networking among alumni, guest speakers and mentors from AMIDEAST’s entrepreneurship initiatives,” said Sharifa Al Barami, AMIDEAST/Oman’s Entrepreneurship Training Program Manager.   “These events are also being used as a promotional platform for our alumni to showcase their newly established businesses through sponsoring various in-kind contributions and having the opportunity to expand their network for better visibility in the market.”  


―  Appeared in AMIDEAST Impact Newsletter, September/October 2011