Riyada, Microsoft deal to help empower Omani startups

Business Monday 07/March/2016 18:48 PM
By: Times News Service
Riyada, Microsoft deal to help empower Omani startups

Muscat: A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by the Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprise Development (Riyada) with Microsoft Oman to provide SME sector with collaboration technologies along with the required skills sets to grow their business.
This MoU comes in line with both institutions’ continued commitment to support the growth and development of the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector and promote entrepreneurship spirit in Oman, said a press release.
The MoU was signed by Riyada chief executive officer Khalifa bin Said Al Abri and Microsoft Oman general manager Sherif Tawfik, in the presence of senior management teams from both organisations.
Under this agreement, both parties will be conducting continuous dialogue with the aim to identify potential collaboration projects to promote technology use for micro and small enterprises as a key enabler for growth and productivity and support the development of the SME ecosystem in Oman.
Commenting on this announcement, Khalifa bin Said Al Abri said: “Riyada is committed to support Omani businesses throughout all their developmental stages and allow them to grow and develop by contributing positively to the Sultanate’s economy.”
“Microsoft has always been a valuable partner of Riyada and Oman and we are pleased to partner with them on this new initiative to give startups and SMEs access to available technology tools and systems which contribute to creating a nurturing entrepreneurial business environment in Oman,” he added.
Some of the potential areas of collaboration include providing access to Microsoft Build Your Business through Riyada training channels, launching an interactive SME portal through a variety of free Microsoft tools designed to promote SME development and sustainability, linking Microsoft Virtual Academy to Riyada portal to provide a direct channel for SME capacity building in areas of productivity, hosting Microsoft-led technology workshops for technology based SMEs, inviting some of Microsoft regional executives to sit on Riyada mentorship programmes with the objective of supporting Omani SMEs with the needed guidance and mentorship to promote their sustainability.
“We are proud to join hands with Riyada to equip the Startups and the SME sector in Oman with access to the latest technologies and expertise and help them realise their ideas and grow their businesses,” said Sherif Tawfik.
“Technology has opened up new avenues of expansion for startups and small businesses around the world; the services and products provided by Microsoft will allow Omani startups and SMEs to be more productive with enterprise-level technology and value-added services. We hope this initiative will benefit Omani businesses as it will not only provide them access to genuine technology products but also knowledge exchange and ongoing support to help them focus on managing their core businesses and growing them,” added Tawfik.
A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group (B-CG) showed that tech-savvy SMEs grew revenues 15 per cent faster, created jobs nearly two times quicker than SMEs using technology lightly. Tech-savvy SMEs were also more likely to have international customers and expand to other countries.
The memorandum of understanding between Riyada and Microsoft will provide micro enterprises and SMEs in Oman with the technology tools and help them develop modern skills to better utilise technology in building their businesses and making a difference in the national economy and the overall future of Oman.