Education, enterprise development and energy sustainability are at the core of BP Oman’s social investment programme strategy
BP Oman is contributing to the social and economic development of Oman and Omani people through various initiatives which include support for education, vocational training, skills for employment, capacity building for individuals and the promotion of income generating activities. The company is also involved in efforts to help and encourage the local community. Moreover, investment in human resources, training and development of the communities is a key priority.
BP will consider how to make community investment viable and self-sufficient in terms of long-term financing, skills and resources. Plans may include ‘train the trainer’ initiatives, business training, income-generating activities and long-term shared funding mechanisms agreed to by the community, the government, NGOs, and other donors.
EBDA is BP’s capacity building programme designed for early stage start-ups. The programme is designed to take the participating teams in multiple stages of skills developments. The programme is co-created with professional partners and subject matter experts in relevant areas of expertise. Participating teams are expected to launch a product/company utilising micro-funding opportunities provided at the end of the programme. It’s a four-month programme targeted towards early start-ups. The programme will equip participants with the necessary skills to launch their respective companies or products.
Khazzan for SME Development Project consists of evaluating the performance of 20 local SMEs, identifying areas for improvement and providing them with a detailed report of how they can upgrade their operations and make their business more sustainable while following the best practices. Based on the development areas identified, Sharakah will suggest actions for improvement. These actions might include rebranding the business, executing a marketing campaign, getting a financial system or implementing a quality system. Besides the funding of the project, BP also allocate a grant for each of these businesses to be used for improvement. The amount will be disbursed to third party organisations and suppliers who will provide the services to the selected candidates.
Mulihamat programme focusses on building capacity for Omani women entrepreneurs, enabling them to operate efficiently and professionally. Through capacity building, it will assist Omani women on enhancing management skills, good governance and leadership that will give them better professional standing in achieving their goals and enabling them to actively participate in the creation of ecosystem. Moreover, the capability to engage women further in their programmes that will result in either being self-employed or providing job opportunities for the Omani women.
As with any social investment project the impact of a programme takes time to witness results. BP is currently in process of evaluating projects that it has funded over the past few years to obtain further analysis. What is apparent is that BP has played a role in developing the capability of its partners, such as Youth Vision. Other initiatives include Innotech and Nafath Renewable Energy, who were beneficiaries of Khazzan for SME Development Progammes. They are now BP partners delivering programmes in energy sustainability.
The programmes have helped to build visibility to investors and potential sponsors. BP Oman funded the training and development of eight job seekers who are currently working with Oman Sail as trainers delivering leadership programmes to different corporate entities.
BP has joined hands with the country’s National Training Fund (NTF) to help build the next generation of future-ready financial talent that Oman’s changing economy will need.The company has trained 60 operators and 20 supervisors to work in water desalination plants as part of the Middle East Desalination Research Centre (MEDRC)’s vocational training programme, Tahlya.