MUSCAT: The Khazzan Growth Finance project officially took off this week to provide 32 entrepreneurs with business mentorship for two months in Nizwa as part of BP Oman’s Social Investment Programme that aims at empowering local entrepreneurs and SME sector as a part of their commitment in developing Oman’s In Country Value (ICV).
The project is a part of the Social Investment Programme’s Enterprise Development Projects, managed by implementing partners Sharakah, whose General Manager, Abdullah Al Jufaili, said, “The Khazzan Growth Finance project is the flagship of the BP Oman Enterprise Development Projects. “32 candidates, from the governorates of Al Dakhiliya and Al Dhahirah, will undergo an extensive two to three month entrepreneurship program. By the end of the program each of them will have a complete business plan focused on the financial aspects of the business, a brand for the company, social media accounts and email services. A further 22 candidates will be awarded RO 5,000 grant from BP Oman to setup their businesses.”
Inspired Solutions, an SME consultancy agency in Oman and the project’s associate implementing partner, has worked on selecting, training, evaluating and now mentoring a segment of entrepreneurs in Oman, with particular emphasis on the Al Dakhiliyah and Al Dhahirah.
William R Crew, CEO of Inspired Solutions, said, “Inspired Solutions is excited to be able to bring world class MBA style entrepreneur training to the small business owners of Al Dakhiliyah and Al Dhahirah. The trainees are from all sectors and all ages. We are very impressed to see the level of motivation which we see in these areas.”
The first phase of the project included the application and community outreach in Nizwa and Ibri, which registered 140 people from across Al Dhakhiliyah and Al Dhahirah. The second phase narrowed down 45 of the top eligible candidates that were interviewed. Now in their third phase, Inspired Solutions will conduct training workshops for the entrepreneurs.
The participating entrepreneurs in the project have been in business for approximately 36 months and are therefore classified as a start-up. According to Crew, this stage is a very sensitive time in the life cycle of small businesses as most fail within 60 months. Inspired Solutions will offer training in all aspects of small business management, including the business plan and associated financial statements for all successful graduates.
Inspired Solutions is an expert in the design and management of SME accelerators in Oman. In addition to managing SME accelerators since 2012, they have provided management consultancy to SAS and NBC incubators at KOM (Knowledge Oasis Muscat). Inspired Solutions is also engaged by banks in Oman and the Middle East to provide consultancy for their SME credit and sales departments.
SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER