Year - 2013

13/11/2013
Sharakah Signs MoU with Zubair Corporation

The Zubair Small Enterprises Centre (Zubair-SEC) and Sharakah inked a memorandum of understanding to compliment their efforts of serving local SMEs. The MOU between Zubair-SEC and Sharakahwas signed yesterday at Zubair Corporation headquarters in the presence of Mr. Hani Al Zubair, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sharakah and senior officials from both organizations. The MoUlays out plans for various facets of cooperation focused on the developments of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Zubair-SEC and Sharakah will work together to provide Omani Entrepreneurs with access to information about their services and available opportunities through their websites. The partnership will extend to promotional activities such ascollaborating on joint awareness campaigns at local colleges and universities and relevant seminars.

Commenting at the event Mr. Hani Obied, Senior Advisor & Acting CEO of Zubair-SEC said; “The cooperation between Sharakah and Zubair-SEC is an important milestone in the effort to attract more effective Businesses owned by Omanis. We will provide business advisory services to early stages and growing organization to help them grow in the market.”

Dinkar Kishor, Deputy General Manager of Sharakah said: “There are already a number of private and public sector initiatives in the community to promote entrepreneurship and support SME`s. our aim from this MoU is to compliment the efforts to achieve the same objectives.”

“The Zubair Small Enterprises Centre also provides services to all Omani entrepreneurs and small business owners, and gives them access to meet and consult business advisors at the center.We pursued an agreement with Sharakah as they are well known as one of the most effective organizations for developing the SMEs in the Sultanate.” Hani added. For the long term plan, both parties will agree on a set target number of entrepreneurs to be funded who pass the requirements ofboth parties.

07/10/2013
Sharakah Participates in the 4th Annual Middle East SME Forum

Over the past few years, countries in Middle East have been aiming to build a stable and sustainable economy through the diversification and expansion of its enterprise base across a range of different sectors, thus improving the competitiveness of the region`s private sector.

Sharakah recently participated in the 4thAnnual Middle East SME Forum which was held in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The participation comes from Sharakah’s interest to extend its experience and get acquainted with other initiatives in the region.

The forum brought togetherSME support organizations, entrepreneurs,seniorbanking personnel and government officials to discuss and understand vital aspects of SME initiatives.

Several interactive panel discussionswere held duringthe conference. Abdullah Al Jufaili, General Manager of Sharakah, talked about a crucial topic related to SME developmentthat is “Are SME`s really a vehicle for job creation?” The presentation highlighted statics about SME job creation related to the sustainability of the SME. It also touched on the means for SMEs to be favorable employers.

Success stories and best practices in the region were narrated through presentations from celebrated entrepreneurs in the region. In Oman, there are a number of initiatives that aim to support SMEs and entrepreneurs at different stages. These initiatives offerfinancial and administrative support to sustain the business and help to build strongplatformfor SMEs to grow.

30/09/2013
Workshop delivered by Sharakah to Sickle Cell Patients in Association with Oman Hereditary Blood Disorder Association

Oman Hereditary Blood Disorder Association in cooperation with Sharakah, organized a 1-day workshop titled "Dynamic Entrepreneurship" to some members of the Association. The workshop aimed at inspiring the participants to think positively about life and explore opportunities in the business environment.

The participants were highly engaged in the workshop. The case study based exercises discussed income, expenses, profit, cash flow management and risks associated with any business.The participants were asked to make their own cash flow analysis by using given templates, developing company brand, calculating required investment to grow he business and else.

Commenting on the workshop,one of the participants said:“The exercises helped us understand key aspects of managing a business successfully. We learned more about cash flows, evaluating business scenarios and mitigating risks. It was a highly effective skill enhancement workshop. We learned a great deal about vital principles relating to entrepreneurship and small business management.”

"We thank Sharakah for delivering this professional and quite engaging workshop to our members. Indeed, it was delightful seeing the engagement level very high amongst participants. We hope to repeat this again for other member of the association." Said Fatma Al Yaqoubi, Association Member.

29/08/2013
Sharakah Sanctions New Projects

Sharakah has recently sanctioned a loan to start a new restaurant in WillayatNizwa called Makulati which translates "My Meals". Makulatiwill be serving Arabic and Zanzibari Cuisine along with Indian Spicy cuisine at affordable prices

The project is run and managed by Mr. Hafidh Al Naamani,a 29 years old ambitious young Omani who enjoys learning about different cultures and hosting tourists has chosen the restaurant business because of his interest in promoting local tourism.

During 2013, Sharakah has sanctioned 6 projects with a total investment amount of OMR 369,500. These include new projects and recurring clients who have asked for additional finance. The list includes Columbiono Coffee in the Governorate of Dhofar, Ice Cream Mama, Al Barza Coffee shop and Grills Restaurant in Governorate of Muscat, as well Papparoti which has started successfully in Muscat and is expanding to Governorate of Al Batinah North and Governorate of Dhofar.

These projects have and will create 87 employment opportunities in the community. Commenting on this at the signing ceremony Ms. Umaima Al Ghadani, Investment Analyst said "Sharakah’s role goes beyond financing. To date, Sharakah has provided support to more than fifty projects. The success of every small business, creates jobs, develops skills, attracts talent and drives the nation’s development and international competitiveness”.

Mr.Hafidh Al Naamani, the owner of “Maakulati” thanked Sharakah’s Management for the financial support and the guidance it offered. He said the proposed restaurant will be located in Hay Al Turath, on the road towards Birkat Al Mawz in Nizwa. The project will benefit the local community by way of jobs as well as enhancing the dining out experience. He added "I am targeting locals who live around the area as well as tourists who take the road to Jabal Al Akhdhar and Jabal Shams. I am inviting them to stop and taste delicious and affordable variety of meals."

Sharakah`s focus is on SME`s sustainability, so their support does not stop at financing. Recently they have introduced many mechanisms and tool to help them asses the progress of the business and guide the owners towards achieving success.

"We want to ensure that these projects sustain the market, maintain the jobs created, expand nationally and grow to be bankable." Said Abdullah Al Jufaili, General Manager, Sharakah.

27/06/2013
Sharakah Continues the Series of Entrepreneurial Skills Development Workshop with Jusoor

Sharakah delivered the second workshop in a series of workshops aimed at empowering locals with entrepreneurial skills in association with Jusoor. The workshop titled "Dynamic Entrepreneurship" focus on introducing the concept of entrepreneurship, explaining the basis of establishing a business, clarifying the definitions SME`s and entrepreneurs, introducing and explaining how to develop cashflow statement for a business and understanding how to manage a business in an ever changing environment.

The workshop was delivered to a group of (25) Omanis, who have all praised and appreciated the knowledge and information they have received. Commenting on this Ahmed Ibrahim Al Ajmi, one of the participants said “I learnt that managing a business is not an easy task, and every transaction counts in a business. There are so many internal as well as external factors that keep on changing and they in turn affect the business performance”

Abdullah Al Jufaili, General Manager of Sharakah and the workshop presenter concludes saying; “in response to the decision of the SME Symposium held at Seih Al Shamikhat,we aim at spreading more awareness about entrepreneurship. Our objective is to ensure that starting a business requires proper planning. Our ultimate objective at Sharakah is to ensure that we are creating sustainable SME`s which will create jobs and contribute to the social and economic development of Oman."

Fahad Al Adi, Executive Manager of Jusoor Said: “Jusoor’s partnership with Sharakah will surely add great value to the young entrepreneurs in North Al Batinah, and through the Enrichment Program the three founding companies of Jusoor (Orpic, SoharAluminium& Vale) aim to play an active role in nurturing the entrepreneurial minds in the governorate”.

Implementing this social educational project for the entrepreneurs and college studentswillenhancetheir abilities and knowledge of understanding the market. The learning outcomes of this workshop were met and participants valued it and confirmed that made them more confident and aware of doing business successfully.

04/06/2013
Workshop on the dynamics of entrepreneurship held by Sharakah at GUtech

MUSCAT To encourageBachelor of Science students to think as entrepreneurs and to persue theirown business ideas, the Department of SustainableTourism and Regional Development of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has launched a series of lectures for students.

"Think as an entrepreneur is our goal. We would like to encourage and promote entrepreneurship and self-employment as an option after graduation," said Professor Dr. Heba Aziz, Head of the Department of Sustainable Tourism and Regional Development.

Last Sunday Abdullah Al Jufaili, General Manager of Sharakah conducted a one-day workshop titled"Dynamic Entrepreneurship"."Since 2011we have been conducting such workshops to encourage young Omanis to start their own businesses," said Abdullah, who himself started thinking as an entrepreneur from an early age onwards. "After school I used to draw cartoon characters. My classmates saw that and wanted to have the same pictures,” remembers Abdullah who soonstarted selling his drawings to his friends and as well other things such as sandwiches, home-made cookies and renting bicycle-rides in his neighbourhood. Later on, beside his studies in the United States, Abdullahstarted working as a freelancer in different sectors. “That experience taught me to think out of the box and to feel responsible for my own work," he said.

During the GUtech workshop Abdullah shared his rich experience as an entrepreneur. He explained how to set-up a business, how to develop a cash flow statement and how to calculate a loan, in addition to getting a better understanding about the positive and negative factors that could affect the entire business progress. "The availability of cash flow is important for the business as well as having clear goals set from the beginning," stressed Abdullah.

Lady Omani, one of the participants said "we appreciate Sharakah`s efforts in promoting entrepreneurship and educating students on how to go about starting a business. Indeed, this was a valuable workshop where we learned more how to setup a business, the importance of planning, projecting the cash flow and managing change in a business environment."

30/03/2013
Sharakah delivered a learning Session in cooperation with Jusoor

On December 2012, Sharakah and Jusoor signed a Memorandum of Understanding aiming at promoting leadership amongst Omanisin North Al Batinah Governorate and to contribute towards developing a positive impact in the targeted communities. This actually comes from the need of boosting the young Omanis awareness of leadership by both parties and so creates a generation that is aware of the massive opportunities in the market to be used to add value to the Omani economy.

Mr. Abdullah Al Jufaili, General Manager of Sharakah, delivered an educational workshop within the Enrichment Program of Jusoortitled “Dynamic Entrepreneurship”aims at making the participants understand how to establish and manage a business in changing economic and social environment. Around 30 participants attended the workshop which lasts for 7 hours with supportive case studies and interesting ice break games.

"Aside from promoting entrepreneurship, we believe that it is important for business owners to understand how to manage cash flowtaking into consideration the internal and external factors of the business" commenting Mr. Al Jufaili. Some participants have a lack of financial experience and so the exercises helped them understand key aspects such as planning cash flows, evaluating business scenarios, team building, etc.

"Jusoor’s partnership with Sharakah opens a wide door of opportunities for young entrepreneurs in North Al Batiah, be it through the knowledge that they gain from the valuable workshops delivered by Sharakah or through the partnership prospectus with Sharakah and benefiting from their services and expertis" said Fahad Al Adi, Executive Manager of Jusoor. And he added:"Jusoorand its three founding companies (Orpic, SoharAluminium and Vale) areproud to be part of such valuable knowledge sharing and networking opportunities that will surely add value to the entrepreneurial picture in North Al Batinah."

Abdulsalam Al Sadi, one of the participants in the workshops shared his feedback on the workshop: "The workshop focused on very crucial aspects that will help me as an entrepreneur to better manage my business. Cash flow statements and financial aspects are crucial to any business, and I surely gained a lot of knowledge from this workshop".

The workshop was highly appreciated by Jusoor and the participants as it was interesting and knowledge filled.

Jusoor Enrichment Program is one of Jusoor’s initiatives that are aimed at cascading knowledge among the Omani youth in North Al Batinah in the entrepreneurial field as well as career guidance and work ethics with the objective to contribute to the graduates’ readiness for joining the labor market.

25/03/2013
Sharakah Annual General Meeting

Sharakah held its Annual General Meeting for the financial year ended 31 December, 2012 on 25th March 2013 at Park Inn Hotel, presided by Mr. Hani bin Mohamed AlZubair, Chairman of the Board of Directors, with the attendance of the Board of Directors, Shareholders and officials from the concerned authorities.

The AGM discussed and approved the Audited Financial Statements for the year 2012 and the appointment of Statutory Auditor for the financial year 2013.

Mr. Hani explained that Sharakah had a remarkable year in 2012. It managed to achievemost of its targets and overall the performance was very positive. 2012 was the first year where Sharakah applied the new strategy and it successfully launched its new Brand which carries Three Key Messages;

Energize: Sharakah engages with business owners to encourage them and showcase their achievements. Grow:By monitoring and guiding the business owners, Sharakah ensures their sustainability and continuous growth. Innovation: Reviewing how they operate and always suggesting area for improvements, Sharakah’s clients strive to be the best in their industries.

Amongst a list of achievements, Sharakah became ISO 9001:2008 certified in 2012. The certification recognizes that Sharakah has standardized processes and procedures that adhere to International Quality Systems Standards

.

Hani Al Zubair stated that; "Sharakahhave adopted a strategy to diversify communicationchannels to spread more awareness about Sharakah and encourage entrepreneurship amongst nationals. In 2012, Sharakahhave attended to more than 460 calls and enquiries, an increase of 24% from the previous year. Moreover, is now active on renowned social media channels includingFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and You Tube.On the community development side, Sharakah delivered many presentations at different colleges and schools as well as we conducted a skills development workshop titled "Dynamic Entrepreneurship" to about 280 startups and college students."

Commenting on the financial performance he added; "During the year 2012, Sharakah provided financial support to 10 projects with investment amount ofRO 529.000, which have created 164 new job opportunities in the local market.Since 2008 to the present day, Sharakahprovided support to 29 projects;these projects represent various sectors including information technology, engineering, as well as industry and services sector and restaurants."

Mr. Hani concluded by emphasizing the importance of the role His Majesty the Sultan plays in supporting Small and Medium Enterprises. He praised the decisions that emerged from SME Symposium held at Seih Al Samikat and confirmed that this will pave the way for more locals to consider establishing their own enterprises. Further, this will create a favorable environment for SME`s.

Mr. Hani greatly appreciated the support that SME`s in general and Sharakah in particular received from His Majesty. He also thanked the shareholders for the support they have shown.

06/02/2013
National Business Centerand Sharakah Tie-up to Support SMEs

Fund for Development of Youth Projects, SAOC (Sharakah), premier organization involved in development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME`s) has signed an agreement with Public Establishment for Industrial Estate (PEIE), a business incubator seeks to develop small and medium-sized enterprises related to the field of Information Technology through its embrace of business owners and provide office space alignment, support and guidance for the growth of these institutions.The agreement aims at developing the Small and Medium Enterprises located in National Business Centre by providing a workshop for the owners.

The signing parties agreed to coordinate for one year to deliver learning sessions in the forms of workshops for the Business Owners in the National Business Centre. Sharakah will deliver a workshop which aims at making the participants understand how to establish and manage a business in changing economic and social environment, discussing issues related to the SMEs and guiding them to overcome the hurdles face them.

Every last Wednesday in the end of each month will be the time for Sharakah to meet the SME owners in around two hours to learn from the workshops delivered by Mr. Abdullah Al Jufaili, General Manager of Sharakah.

It is noteworthy to mention that the National Business Center (NBC) was launched by the Public Establishment for Industrial Estate in KOM and began operations in the year 2013. It is aimed to facilitate and support the growth of business ideas which are investable and convert them into successful projects on the ground; also it seeks to build the skills of business owners through training and guidanceto manage their institutions efficiently and professionally. In addition to that, providing facilities through the creation of office space, and provide administrative and financial support and advisory services, which are basics of the success of new projects.