Muscat: A cooperation agreement was signed between the Public Authority for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (Riyada) and Fund for Development of Youth Projects (Sharakah) early this month to conduct a 360 degree assessment of 10 selected SMEs.
The objective is to identify each small and medium enterprise (SME) strength and areas which need improvement then work on a development plan to improve performance.
“With all the development that is happening in the region and the opportunities that are emerging with upcoming mega projects like Expo 2020 and World Cup 2022, we believe that Omani SMEs have a great opportunity to expand beyond local borders. However, to do so, they need to have a solid ground to grow and they need to improve the quality of their services and products,” Khalid Al Haraibi, acting CEO of Riyada, said.
“This project will assist SMEs to get a thorough analysis of their performance and help them identify areas that needs improvement while capitalize on strong areas. We are delighted to partner with Sharakah as they have proven to be experts in guiding SMEs at growth stage given their impressive track record,” he added.
The 10 SMEs will be selected in this programme based on criteria that are mostly looking for business owners who are committed to growth. The business will be assessed on 7 areas namely compliance, finance, marketing, communication, human resources, quality and policies.
“It is a pleasure to collaborate with Riyada in this programme. One of Riyada’s objective is to help SMEs grow so that they can contribute towards socioeconomic development. We believe that this programme will pave the way for that. We will employ a tool that we have developed called ‘Business Performance Monitoring Tool’ or BPMT for short,” Sulaiman Al Mahrizi, deputy general manager for development, Sharaka, said.
“It’s a matrix that has 56 assessment areas part of 7 general areas. Each business will get an overall rating score from 0 to 100 per cent and a score per each assessment area. A score below 30 per cent means that the business needs a lot of effort to improve its performance. Indeed, the intention is not to penalise or discredit the SME as much as it is to understand what areas needs further improvement,” he added.