By A Staff Reporter -
MUSCAT — Ahmed Hassan Al Dheeb, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, inaugurated the ‘SME evolution programme’, a free web-based training for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.
Developed by Potential, the programme aims at helping small businesses grow into large enterprises.
The Directorate-General for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (DGSME) in Oman has joined hands with Potential as the local partner to organise the SME Evolution Programme throughout the Sultanate.
The launch event in Muscat as well as the ensuing workshop for SMEs was attended by representatives from Potential’s regional partners AllWorld, Aramex, Google, Intel and Zawya, as well as local partner United Systems.
During the workshop, participants were given an opportunity to test the SME Evolution Programme ‘live’ and register for the three-month online training initiative.
In partnership with the US-based AllWorld Network, the SMEs will be encouraged to participate in the Arabia 500 Competition as part of the programme.
The launch of the SME Evolution Programme in Oman follows the successful appeal of the web-based training among SMEs in countries such as Lebanon, Qatar and the UAE. The free web-based training programme helps SMEs link with their peers throughout the Middle East and gain mutual support as well as guidance from assigned mentors.
Shadi Banna, Managing Partner, Potential, said: “Collaborating with leading global and local partners has proved extremely beneficial for facilitating this programme. Through gaining access to their assets, the participating SMEs are able to comprehend the environment and factors that contribute to the growth of small and medium sized enterprises.
The programme has gained significant mileage in the region, leading to the creation of increased job opportunities among the small businesses. We are delighted to bring the programme to the Sultanate for raising the bar of the SME sector here.”
Salah bin Hilal al Maawali, Director-General DGSME, said: “We welcome Potential’s initiative to launch the SME Evolution Programme in Oman. This programme has validated its effectiveness, benefiting a substantial number of small units region-wide. We believe the programme is a remarkable way to assist business owners, sponsors and partners in Oman through offering a platform to help them expand and grow into large enterprises.”
Dinesh Hinduja, Country Manager, Aramex, said: “Aramex is pleased to partner with the SME Evolution Programme, an important initiative that will help regional small businesses achieve the next stage of growth. Our support for this initiative reflects the core values and entrepreneurial culture of Aramex, which is committed to leveraging resources, knowledge, expertise and networks to nurture the expansion of SMEs across the region.”
Noor Shawa, Head of the Business Professional Department, Zawya, said: “SMEs represent a significant segment of the Middle East economy. To remain competitive and grow their business, it is crucial that these companies have access to the most up-to-date and comprehensive market intelligence, which is what Zawya provides. Our online information platform serves as a business enabler for all types of regional SME's, including entrepreneurs and start-ups, providing them with innovative tools to promote their business, as well as connect with potential customers.”
SMEs interested in enrolling for the free web-based training programme can register on www.potential.com/sme-registration.