The Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Riyada) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Omantel as strategic partner to support and execute the third edition of The Entrepreneurship Awards.
The strategic partnership signed by Khalifa Bin Said Al Abri, CEO of Riyada, and Sheikh Talal Said al Mamari, CEO of Omantel, in an event attended by senior officials from the public and private sectors.
Commenting on the importance of the relationship with Omantel, Khalifa Bin Said Al Abri noted, “Riyada aims at building true partnerships with private sector institutions to achieve its strategic goals, programmes and initiatives. We are pleased to announce our strategic partnership with Omantel, who plays a vital role in supporting growth in the SME sector. Riyada has recently joined hands with a number of companies and it is looking for further partnerships to boost growth in the SME sector”.
“Our partnership with Omantel to execute the third edition of the awards will contribute in providing a supportive environment for entrepreneurship through the collaborative efforts of both institutions. The Entrepreneurship Awards are one of the outcomes of the small and medium enterprises symposium which was held in early 2013, following the Royal directives of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. Under the terms of this strategic MoU; Omantel will share its knowledge of organizing similar awards, most notably the Business Excellence SME Awards, as well as providing ongoing technology and financial support.” Al Abri added.
The Riyada Entrepreneurship Awards aspire to cultivate a culture of entrepreneurship in the Omani society and develop the performance and competitiveness of micro, small and medium enterprises. Additionally, the awards aim to encourage excellence, competitiveness, innovation, and appreciation for the individuals or institutions that support SMEs and provide them with a professional environment to network and exchange expertise in the fields of entrepreneurship and SME development.
Highlighting the importance of supporting the growing SME community, Omantel’s CEO, Talal Said al Mamari noted, “Omantel has always nurtured and supported entrepreneurs by conducting awards like the Business Excellence SME Awards, which have encouraged young entrepreneurs over the last 4 years to excel in their businesses. At Omantel, we believe that we share the same goals, values and vision with a number of institutions concerned with this important sector. Therefore, unifying our efforts with Riyada will certainly generate a positive impact and will benefit the SME sector and the economy in general.”
Omantel’s CEO noted that under the terms of the MoU, Omantel’s support will include knowledge sharing and technology support to entrepreneurs and SME businessmen. The assistance will also include financial support which is very important to continue growing the SME sector in the Sultanate.
“The responsibility of supporting SME’s in Oman is not restricted to a certain body, it is rather a shared responsibility for both the public and private sectors. The success of the SME economy is based on the fruitful collaboration between these two sectors, and our strategic partnership with Riyada is an excellent example of mutual cooperation to grow SME’s contribution to our national economy.” Al Mamari added.
In the third edition of Riyada Awards, the main committee has held its first meeting under the chairmanship of Tariq Suleiman Alfarsi, Chairman of the award committee and with the presence of representatives of members from the government and private sectors to review and discuss the ongoing preparations of the award’s third edition; to showcase the developments in supporting the winners of the first and second editions. Furthermore, state the proposed timeline for the third edition and most important aspects like reviewing the categories and criteria of the awards.
The first edition of the Entrepreneurship Awards focused on boosting competitiveness among young entrepreneurs, and to be effective contributors in the continued drive towards a diversified economy. The second edition of the awards placed more focus on quality and the application of global standards of excellence which was a self-assessment tool for all participants to elevate their product and service delivery. Omantel has followed the same approach in our support to the SME sector. Therefore, we are excited to join hands with Riyada to support young Omani entrepreneurs, and we look forward to the third edition of the awards,” he concluded.