Muscat: A series of events in line with the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW 2018) started at the National Business Centre (NBC) in the Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM) on Sunday.
The inauguration event featured success stories of a Kuwaiti and Omani entrepreneurs in addition to an accompanying small and medium enterprises (SMEs) exhibition.
“The GEW series of events come to spread awareness on entrepreneurship and encourage Omani youth to turn their innovative ideas into real projects. The theme of this year’s week is ‘Failure taught me’, said Malak Al Shaibani, Director General of NBC.
“It is the sixth consecutive year that we are organising events in line with the Global Entrepreneurship Week. The week is globally celebrated by 167 countries to highlight the significance of entrepreneurship and inspire talented individuals to start their businesses,” he added.
The event underscored the successful story of the Kuwaiti entrepreneur Dawood Marafie. Recognised as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the Arab world, Marafie began his career path as food service worker at McDonald’s and then worked in several bodies in various fields including sales, insurance, world stock markets, and banking. Marafie has successfully initiated a number of companies including Emtidad Company and Shiraa for Projects Management Company, as well as he is a founder of the Union of GCC Entrepreneurs and Association of Small and Medium Enterprises of Kuwait. He is also a member of several committees in government bodies including the National Fund for Small and Medium Enterprise Development and Public Authority of Manpower.
Successful Omani Entrepreneurs
The event highlighted the successful journeys of three Omani entrepreneurs.
Khalid Al Abri went through several failure points in his entrepreneurship journey until he finally found his passion in the coffee business after having an experience with an advertising company in 2010. He is today the founder and partner of Ostool Al Bon Café, which is specialised in a variety of coffee types made with high standard of excellence and great passion.
Dr Rauhiya Al Khaifi, CEO and founder of Latafa LLC, decided to shift her specialisation from being a doctor to being an entrepreneur.
Al Khaifi established Latafa LLC that sells natural and organic cosmetics following an incident where one of Rauhiya’s family members had a severe skin reaction after using a detergent. This made Rauhiya explore more on the different toxins and chemicals found in cosmetics and their side effects on bodies.
“I have not reached success yet as I am aiming to go beyond the borders of Muscat, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and finally worldwide countries,” Al Khaifi said.
From teaching to the world of adventure, Issa Al Sawafi initiated a voluntary team that organises adventurous trips.
“In one year and a half, the team consisted of around 150 members. Later, we have decided to turn the voluntary work into a profitable business called Wadi Adventure,” Al Sawafi said, adding that “We have met few challenges in our journey, but that did not stop us to go further. Today, we have a specialised, skilled and trained team in Wadi Adventure.”
It should be noted that Mashura event will be organized on the second day of GEW Oman 2018, which will be held at Riyada incubator to enhance entrepreneurship awareness among owners of SMEs.
On the third day, Reyooq event will be held to highlight employment challenges in SMEs. Reyooq events offer a platform for interactive discussions and exchange of views on major sectors in the Sultanate and thus encourage entrepreneurs to start businesses in these sectors.
An evening event under the title of ‘Speed Networking’ will also take place on the third day.
The fourth day will witness a workshop on investment readiness in addition to a discussion gathering called ‘Lamma’.
NBC will also organisea three-day Startup Weekend starting from next Thursday. This event will be organised for the second consecutive year by NBC.
Startup Weekend is a 54-hour weekend event that will bring together designers, developers, marketers and startup enthusiasts to share ideas, form teams, and launch startups. Around 20 consultants and experts in entrepreneurship will take part in the event, which aims at promoting communication and exchange of ideas and views between the participants.
The programme will conclude with the selection of three most viable and cost-effective ideas. Winners will receive gifts as well as the opportunity to join NBC’s pre-incubation and incubation phases.