Muscat: Sharakah provided financial support to nine projects valued at a total of OMR438,000 in June, against the target to finance 10 to 12 projects valued at OMR780,000 in 2016, the closed joint stock company announced.
Despite the market slow down, there has been significant activity in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector.
“We anticipated earlier this year that SMEs would still continue to grow despite the market conditions. Start-ups in general have a better advantage when entering a market that is being affected by an economic downturn. They are very much aware of the challenges in the market and can align their strategies to overcome them,” General Manager Abdullah Al Jufaili said.
Asked if Sharakah will stop taking new applications, Al Jufaili responded “No, we will continue to accept applications. However, we would be more prudent to align (them) with our diversification of sectors strategy. To date, the majority of businesses that we have supported are in the services sectors,” he added.
Al Jufaili pointed out that more than 70 per cent of the supported businesses are from the food and beverages sectors.
“That has been in response to the changes in consumers’ lifestyle, increasing the number of tourists and in garnering interest from business owners themselves to own a food joint,” he explained.
Mohamed Al Lawati, marketing specialist said, “The number of inquiries and people walking in has noticeably increased this year.”
Recently this year, Sharakah received an award for being the “Best Inspiring Organisation” from the World Confederation of Business at a ceremony held in Monte Carlo. Indeed, the objective is not just to provide financial support, but rather to take these SMEs to the next level.