MUSCAT: Oman Environmental Services Holding Company (be’ah) announced today the continuation of Eco-Innovate Oman- its flagship accelerator program for Omani businesses seeking to make their commercial operations even greener.
EIO is a business accelerator program designed to develop the skills sets and growth trajectories of Omani SMEs that aspire to green their businesses, fight climate change, and maximize financial, environmental, and social returns. The world is moving towards a green economy to fight climate change. Large international companies are including sustainability in their tendering decisions. Governments and others are adopting similar approaches. Investors are looking for innovative sustainable SMEs to invest in; EIO aims to increase the level of competitiveness among Omani SMEs enabling them to compete locally and internationally. EIO will train Omani SMEs to evaluate their operations and their value chains using Green House Gas (GHG) accounting which is considered the first step in identifying ways to make their operations greener and more sustainable.
Launched in December of 2019, the first Eco-Innovate Oman (EIO) contributed to accelerating the skills sets of SME owners working in the waste management, resource recovery, and other eco-conscious sectors. The program has benefitted owners like Tasnim Al Dawudi, co-founder of T&S Petroleum, which has a patented date seed oil product used in the oil & gas industry who took part in the first edition of EIO. According to Ms. Al Dawudi, “EIO was a life changing experience, giving our team the commercial maturity and skills to grow T&S into a sustainable and highly competitive organization.”
The second edition of EIO will build upon this success, attracting Omani small and medium sized businesses which are committed to greening their operations through a practical “Green House Gas Accounting” process of identifying the environmental impact of their operations and those of its suppliers and employees. EIO participants will also be exposed to international best practices in sustainable business practices, led by be’ah’s international partners and selected SMEs will have the opportunity to work with these partners one-on-one.
As with the first edition of EIO, the second cohort will undergo a challenging “boot camp” which will quickly enhance skills sets with regards to business strategy and operations. The participants will learn practical skills in not only sustainable business practices but also financial management and the attraction of growth capital. EIO will train the participants to focus on the three pillars of impact namely, financial, social, and environmental returns. At the end of EIO, successful SMEs will pitch for growth financing in front of angel investors, lenders, and impact investment funds. Growth financing will be in the form of equity and/or debt.
Commenting on the launch of the second edition of EIO, Research & Development Manager at Environmental Center of Excellence in be’ah Dr. Farah Al-Barwani stated; “Due to be’ah’s drive to support Oman’s transition towards sustainability and a circular economy, and in support of the Oman Vision 2040, we are pleased to announce the launch of the second edition of EIO as we aim to encourage further adaptation of sustainable best practices by Omani SMEs.”
William Crew, CEO of Inspired Solutions stated, “Sustainable Best Practices are increasingly becoming a litmus test for doing business with large multi-national companies and governments and for attracting funding from equity investors. Through this program, SMEs will embrace sustainable business practices within their organizations, and become more competitive which will open up new horizons for SMEs growth”.