Muscat: As the economy adapts to the impact of Covid-19, Middle East Desalination Research Center (MEDRC) has launched Tahlya programme for SMEs to support local start-ups in the water treatment sector, boosting job creation and economic growth.
The programme has been launched in partnership with BP Oman and under the patronage of Mohammed Abdullah Al Mahrouqi, Chairman of Public Authority for Water (DIAM).
Yousuf Al Ojaili, BP Oman President commented, “Our purpose at BP is to reimagine energy for people and our planet. This is a great example of how we’re doing that – supporting SME understanding of water and energy conservation, a vital part of Oman’s future growth. Training young Omani entrepreneurs in technologies such as solar-powered desalination and greywater treatment offer real business opportunities. We’re proud of our partnership with this programme and look forward to seeing what future graduates can achieve.”
Solar-powered desalination units can offer a financially viable and sustainable long-term solution to Oman’s farmers. A small business that emerges from this programme will be equipped to help farmers tackle the challenge of crop irrigation using the latest solar technologies.
MEDRC’s Tahlya programme has been training young Omanis in desalination since 2017. This new programme will target graduates who are looking to develop their technical skills and start their own business.
The three-month-long intensive training course will be delivered virtually at MEDRC’s state-of-the-art training centre in Muscat.
During the virtual launch event, Ciarán Ó Cuinn, MEDRC’s Centre Director commented, “The Tahlya for SMEs programme is underpinned by MEDRC’s commitment to look for ways to produce low cost, environmentally friendly water and Oman’s national objective of fostering the growth of a private enterprise. Through the support of our partners, we will deliver a comprehensive training programme that will build the capacity of our brightest young graduates and put them on the pathway to self-employment and job creation.”
The list of programme partners includes the Public Authority of Water (Diam), Oman’s Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Riyada), and Sharakah.
Mohammed Al Mahrouqi and event guest of honour, commented, “We are proud to partner with BP Oman, MEDRC, Riyada and Sharakah. We have worked closely with the programme steering committee members to put a project linking our technical and business expertise together with great national expertise in water supply, business enterprise and entrepreneurship. Diam’s role includes advising on potential revenue streams for new businesses and offer key insights into the tendering process”.
Eng. Halima Al Zari, Acting CEO of Riyada, commented, “The strategic goals of Riyada include focusing on developing SMEs and enabling them to obtain financial support, as well as services to coordinate with private and government agencies, in addition to enhancing their competitiveness. From this point of view, Riyada is proud to lend its expertise to the participants and helping them take the necessary right first steps to ensure the sustainable success of their businesses. We will help to prepare participants to develop their business start-ups through a pre-incubation programme, helping them to define their ideas and develop their business plan.”
Dinkar Kishor, Acting General Manager of Sharakah, said, “We, at Sharakah, believe that the first few years of any business are the most critical. We are partnering in Tahlya for SMEs programme to provide and deliver a business enterprise module within the training programme. We will assist SMEs in understanding, managing and educating the business owners in the financial and profitability aspect of the businesses by using Sharakah’s template to prepare the cash flow.”
MEDRC is committed to working within the guidelines set by the Supreme Committee for Covid-19 to guarantee the health and well-being of all trainees and employees.