Wednesday August 1, 2018
Reflecting its strong dedication to become the financing platform of choice for entrepreneurs, Bank Nizwa has teamed up with the Zubair Small Enterprises Centre (Zubair SEC), a social impact initiative by The Zubair Corporation, to support the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Oman. Facilitating trade and economic growth in the Sultanate, both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), where Bank Nizwa offers its portfolio of commercial banking services to (Zubair SEC) database of entrepreneurs, enabling them to succeed and grow in a sustainable manner. Signing the agreement on behalf of Bank Nizwa was CEO Khalid Al Kayed and CEO C.S. Badrinath from The Zubair Corporation.
The joint cooperation is expected to ramp up the SME base in the Sultanate, creating employment opportunities for young Omanis, contributing to the GDP, and providing creating funding opportunities. The collaboration is targeting experienced entrepreneurs, as well as school and college students to develop their entrepreneurial skill sets.
Khalid Al Kayed, CEO of Bank Nizwa said, “We have witnessed a surge of SMEs over the past few years, highlighting their increasingly important role in diversifying Oman’s economy. They are a driving force and this is evident in the employment and investment opportunities they offer. This agreement is not only an extension of our strategy to provide customized financial advisory service, but also integrating a very significant segment into the world of Islamic Finance solutions. We will also leverage and build on the Zubair SEC expertise in this field to empower the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.”
According to the Public Authority for the Development of SMEs (Riyada), the contribution from SMEs to Oman’s GDP is expected to be more than 30% within three years. SMEs and entrepreneurs are playing an increasingly important role in Oman’s economy. In 2017, SMEs generated 15% of the Sultanate’s GDP. With the global average of SMEs contribution to GDP reaching over 50%, the agreement between Bank Nizwa and Zubair SEC will offer aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to sustainably start or grow their businesses.
Mohammed Al Hasani, Chief Communication Officer at The Zubair Corporation said, “This significant collaboration will help us build on the existing entrepreneurial ecosystem in Oman, where SMEs can meet their unique needs, bolster their operations, and ultimately flourish in running and sustaining successful businesses. The SMEs sector has an abundance of potential. We want to support them in order to create jobs and fuel future economic growth.”
Al Hasani added, “Zubair SEC has been playing a key role in supporting small enterprises and young entrepreneurs in the Sultanate since its establishment in 2013. We are happy to sign this MoU with Bank Nizwa, understanding the importance of offering diverse financing tools for our members, and we hope this collaboration would bear promising results in the near future.”
Bank Nizwa’s SME Division caters to all segments of business in the market offering value-added Shari’a-compliant products and services. With a network of 12 branches across Oman, the bank is well positioned to provide financial resources to SMEs and entrepreneurs with the support of Zubair SEC. In addition to Bank Nizwa’s financing, Zubair SEC will provide comprehensive support to Oman’s promising small enterprises. Both parties will cooperate in this joint initiative to extend their outreach to the Sultanate’s youth working with each other’s strengths, assets and available resources to foster the development of SMEs and nurture the spirit of entrepreneurship.