OmanPride: ‘Take a Leap’ initiative to help kick-start small SMEs

More sports Tuesday 05/September/2017 20:09 PM
By: Times News Service
OmanPride: ‘Take a Leap’ initiative to help kick-start small SMEs

There are times where individuals have brilliant ideas about launching a product, but do not have the means to establish it, nor the business knowledge to make it a success, which becomes a challenging, and even de-motivating factor. ‘Take a Leap’ initiative exists to serve these individuals turn their dream into a successful reality.

Meet Hazar Al Zadjali, a businesswoman and co-founder of Boutique Muscat, which has launched an initiative to help develop upcoming retailers. The concept is focusing on upcoming designers and entrepreneurs with a focus on home, fashion, and beauty.

The concept aims to create a space for designers and creative people to sell their products and items at Boutique Muscat in exchange of a minimal monthly fee, without having to face the hassle of renting expensive spaces, hiring staff, and dealing with visas. Note that the fee required is not a space rental as Hazar and her team take risks to act as the backbone of these individuals. “We are offering a service, it’s not just about putting your products in the store, it’s a guided process,” she said.

The initiative aims to create a platform for these talented retailers, help them take their brands to a higher level. “We look at what a brand lacks and assist it from there,” said Hazar, adding that “We help them reach target sales.” The project was launched in 2010 after Hazar realised that there is massive potential for successful retail businesses in Oman, and that many folks want to get into the market. The brands represented get continuous support from Boutique Muscat in various areas, such as sales feedback, customer feedback, marketing, branding, and social media.

The initiative also offers workshops for participating members and SMEs on a variety of topics, such as accounting. It aims to help individuals, who have creative ideas but lack financial knowledge. Other workshops including branding and marketing, “I believe that retail is in trend in Oman, especially on Instagram, and if you do it properly, you’ll get to gain the market,” said Hazar.

Since ‘Take a Leap’ was launched, six of its participants have gone on to launch their own stand-alone stores, including one in Shatti Al Qurum and another in City Centre Muscat.

Boutique Muscat was the first concept store to be opened in Oman in 2008 by Hazar and her sister Hanadi Al Zadjali, who are passionate about fashion and home accessories. The store has introduced local, regional, and international brands with varied choices for its buyers. Boutique Muscat has become a pioneer in retail businesses in Oman, and continues to venture into other relevant fields, such as planning events, fashion shows, and the shopping trade.
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