Muscat: Adapting to changes in the economic environment and being in line with market demand, the Fund for Development of Youth Projects (Sharakah) announced on its social media accounts, some updates related to their regulations and norms.
Starting from July 1, 2017, Sharakah will increase its fund limit from OMR200,000 to OMR350,000. Few other changes have also been introduced, including a reduction in the interest rate for the Bill Discounting Scheme and increase in the credit period.
Abdullah Al Jufaili, general manager, Sharakah said, “Every year, we conduct a survey that is distributed to all our clients, where we assess their level of satisfaction to the services offered to them. We always invite them to suggest areas for improvement. The changes that we are introducing now are in response to those suggestions; changes in the market and to be in line with our long-term objectives.”
“Starting July of this year, we are going to increase the fund limit to OMR350,000 from OMR200,000, earlier. The minimum amount for financial support will also be increased from OMR10,000 to OMR25,000. We believe that this will help us achieve our objective of supporting growth stage businesses. The new finance limit will also allow us to tap into the manufacturing sector as light manufacturing has been identified as one of the sectors that has great potential in Oman’s economy,” he said.
“We are also introducing changes in the credit period for Bill Discounting. It used to be 90 days and we are increasing it to 120 days. We know that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have challenges in maintaining a positive cash flow. Some of them supply to large organisations and it takes a long time for them get paid back. We have also reduced the interest rate for the Bill Discounting Scheme,” he further added.
To date, Sharakah has invested more than OMR6 million in SMEs. More than 150 projects have received financial support and guidance to help them grow the business. Some of the projects supported have grown in market size and customer base. Sharakah stays committed to ensuring that SMEs grow nationally and expand regionally.