The facilitation of financing and the inclusion of entrepreneurship in economic stimulus packages paves the way for a qualitative shift in the sector

The exalted initiatives and prescriptions alleviate the burdens of the existing activities

Report – Amal Rajab

Creating an environment conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship is one of the key objectives of the vision for the future and the tenth five-year plan, and currently statistics indicate that about 90 percent of registered businesses are in the small and medium category. enterprises, reaffirming the importance of entrepreneurship as a support factor for economic growth and the creation of innovative employment sectors For Omani youth to benefit from entrepreneurship in the digital economy era.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, entrepreneurship activities have faced increasing challenges, either directly due to the closures associated with the pandemic or due to the consequences that prevailed in light of the economic downturn in the Sultanate. of Oman and the world, and many support and stimulus packages have been proposed for various sectors as a primary way to help them recover.To reduce the effects of the pandemic on the national economy, and from 2021, the Oman Future Vision 2040 and its first implementation plan, the tenth five-year plan, came into effect, accompanied by successive stimulus packages to support economic growth and improve the financial situation, which is positively reflected on a good recovery of the economy in its various components, including In this regard, the entrepreneurship sector, where a number of institutions operating in this field w erk, has seen a significant increase during 2021, and while stimulus plans and programs that accelerate economic growth continue, there is widespread interest in supporting existing activities, especially small and medium enterprises, and in this context The measures and initiatives of the Council of Ministers announced at the last meeting chaired by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq – may God preserve him For him and his care – to include, with support and care, a large number of entrepreneurs pandemic, as the Cabinet implements an additional package of support measures for small and medium-sized enterprises, entrepreneurs and insolvent individuals in the light of the economic challenges arising from the distribution of the “Covid 19” – pandemic, targeting more than 10,000 citizens, and the procedures included the release of borrowers from the emergency loan portfolio e at 100% of the Oman Development Bank, and exemption from entrepreneurs holding a leadership card for beneficiaries of additional emergency loans granted by the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority at rates ranging from 50% to a maximum of 3,000 Omani riyals, exempting small and medium-sized enterprises from fees and penalties arising from the delay in repayment of loans concluded with the loan portfolio (formerly Al Raffd Fund) until the end of this year, and the filing of cases against non-compliance with the terms of the loan agreements with the loan portfolio (formerly Al Raffd Fund) closed, postponed until the end of this year, and the payment of the amounts due by some entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium enterprises (Omani) who are Jail sentences in the implementation files issued against them during the period from 2020 AD to the end of May 2022 AD, which is still valid and to date not yet has not been canceled, provided that the financial claims due on them do not exceed 5 000 riyal, in addition to the exemption of all private and commercial vehicles from the payment of fines and fees Renewal for the past two years 2020 and 2021, provided that this procedure is valid for a period of 6 months from the date of implementation.

With this support for entrepreneurs to improve their ability to meet economic challenges, many efforts continue to promote the growth of this sector and its contribution to providing meaningful employment opportunities for young people and increasing its role in promotion of economic growth, and observed recently. important developments in this context as the small and medium business sector is included Mainly within the economic stimulus packages and the allocation of many investment opportunities for this sector in promising sectors such as logistics, recycling and some industrial opportunities Specific tenders are allocated to small. and medium-sized enterprises registered with the Tender Board, and on a broader economic scale. Perhaps one of the most important efforts being made is to integrate entrepreneurship companies and large companies on the one hand and between the promising economic sectors and the opportunities they offer. offers, to increase. for entrepreneurs, opening up sources of innovative financing through new financing platforms, as well as encouraging and supporting entrepreneurs to take advantage of the opportunities of the digital economy and join global marketing platforms to launch their products inside and outside the Sultanate Promote and sell Oman, and there is a special interest in increasing entrepreneurs’ use of local value programs and policies Added in many sectors.

The agreements and programs targeting the small and medium business sector include collaboration with many sectors and large entities and the introduction of business incubators in free zones. Regarding employment, the on-the-job training initiative to employ job seekers in small and medium. businesses in its first version managed to provide 3,236 small business training opportunities. And an agreement has been signed between the Ministry of Labor and the Small Business Development Authority to complete the Vocational Training Initiative in its second edition, where 3,000 jobseekers will be employed in small and medium enterprises to improve their competitive capabilities according to their needs.

Another important development was that the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority launched the e-services portal for entrepreneurs, the Authority’s developed website, in addition to the map of the entrepreneurship system in the Sultanate of Oman and their interaction in the media and communications . to facilitate procedures and encourage Omani youth to establish their own projects and expand their existing projects, in line with their aspirations and needs. The list of financing programs included 5 different programs: the In-Land Value Program, the Industry and Service Projects Financing Program, the Working Capital and Fixed Asset Financing Program, the Incubated Institutions and Business Accelerators Financing Program, the Crafts Products Financing Program, Home Business , productivity, street vendors and mobile commercial activities.

On the other hand, financing the entrepreneurship sector is attracting interest through loans and financing programs offered by funds and stakeholders in the sector. Innovative areas for financing are also being opened up, including, for example, setting up the framework that governs crowdfunding platforms to benefit modern financial technologies and the support and motivation of establishing the largest number of possible national crowdfunding platforms of various kinds, and attracting worldwide crowdfunding platforms to the Sultanate of Oman, with the aim of supporting and supporting entrepreneurs, and the transformation of innovative research and enable development results in projects capable of growing and improving GDP.

These efforts are part of the pursuit of the implementation of the programs and policies included in the tenth plan and the vision for the future, and aim to create a stimulating environment for entrepreneurship and the community members’ understanding of this promising sector, which planning a significant impact on growth and playing a key role in spreading innovation and adopting new groundbreaking ideas, which require all the support of the relevant authorities, and the creation and development of incentive and accelerator programs for companies and their inclusion at educational institutions such as universities and institutes, thus contributing to the provision of opportunities leading to a viable return for the national economy and for entrepreneurs.

Investment opportunities in promising sectors such as industry, logistics and recycling

New sources of funding .. and encouragement to exploit the potential of the digital economy and e-commerce

Interest in increasing the scope of ICV programs and policies in many sectors

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