Muscat: Meethaq, the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman from Bank Muscat, in step with its commitment to promoting SME development, hosted a ceremony to sign three agreements to expand the network partners of the ‘Accelerate SME Oman Oman’ portal, developed in partnership by Meethaq Bank and Thomson Reuters.
Thomson Reuters signed the three agreements at the Bank Muscat head office with Ajyal Al Mustaqbal, Sharakah and Zubair Small Enterprises Centre, in the presence of Sulaiman Al Harthy, deputy chief executive officer – Meethaq Islamic Banking.
The ‘Accelerate SME Oman Oman’ digital platform serves as the gateway for SMEs in the Sultanate. The portal provides startups and SMEs access to the most comprehensive source of business resources, services and funding solutions. The innovative portal is accessible on (http://meethaq.acceleratesme.om) and is designed to help SMEs achieve their business goals and thereby promote SME development in Oman.
Sulaiman Al Harthy, deputy chief executive officer – Meethaq Islamic Banking, said, “Meethaq is proud to witness the ‘Accelerate SME Oman Oman’ portal reach out and link all important stakeholders involved in the SME sector. The primary objective of the ‘Accelerate SME Oman Oman’ online platform is to provide guidance and help SMEs to successfully navigate each stage of their business. Meethaq is an active lender to SMEs in Oman, providing small businesses with access to funding of Sharia-compliant solutions to support development at every stage of the business lifecycle. The ‘Accelerate SME Oman Oman’ portal reflects the bank’s commitment to put clients first and provide startups with the power to positively impact their business.”
Mohammed Mubarak Al Hasani, chief communication officer at The Zubair Corporation, said, “Zubair SEC has always advocated for collaboration between various stakeholders in the SME ecosystem. We take pride in our strong relationship with Bank Muscat and its various programmes designed for supporting SMEs. The Meethaq Accelerate SME portal is a promising platform that we hope will add yet another valuable tool to the sector and facilitate needed information and guidance. We thank Bank Muscat and Thompson Reuters for approaching us to join this effort and we wish this endeavour all the very best.”
Taqi Ali Sultan, general manager of Ajyal Al Mustaqbal, said: “Ajyal Al Mustaqbal considers it a great pleasure to be part of Meethaq Accelerate SME platform as most of our day-to-day tasks is shifting to systematic processes. This platform will ease the processes for entrepreneurs and funding entities, enhancing the capabilities and reach of SMEs.”
Zuwaina Al Badaa’i, manager - SME Development, Sharakah Fund for Development of Youth Projects, said, “The in-depth Accelerate SME portal is equipped with a broad array of resources and funding options for SMEs.”
Meethaq Islamic Banking has launched various initiatives to support SME development in Oman. Meethaq’s commitment to fostering national talent and providing support for SMEs is aimed at creating meaningful employment opportunities. Meethaq recognises that the role of SMEs is highly important and remains committed to working hand-in-hand with the government and partners to create a favourable environment for SMEs in Oman.
SMEs contribute around 20 per cent of Oman’s GDP and employ 40 per cent of the private sector workforce. They are a key contributor to economic growth and a source of job creation in Oman, which has prioritised economic diversification. To help enable the growth of SMEs, the ‘Accelerate SME Oman’ portal aims to address the challenges SMEs faces, such as uncertainty on how to set up business, access to tailored funding solutions to support growth and how to scale business and connect with partners and customers.
The ‘Accelerate SME Oman’ portal is free to join. Start-ups, entrepreneurs and business owners can freely access resources, including relevant news, industry insights and intelligence for the Omani market. The portal offers a selection of business tools, templates and advice guides, serving as a curated marketplace of discounted business services tailored for SMEs, funding solutions, including Sharia-compliant Islamic banking products from Meethaq and other partners catering to every business stage. The online community hub facilitates networking opportunities with business owners and entrepreneurs. The facility helps to measure the financial health of companies and benchmark against peers with the ‘Trust Rating’ tool.