Muscat: The Oman Development Bank (ODB) organised an introductory seminar on its product 'Anamil' meant for the financing of homemaker women’s projects at the headquarters of the Omani Women's Association in Qurum. This is as part of the bank's efforts to motivate Omani women to opt for self-employment and to support the skills of Omani women in many productive and services sectors which can absorb national cadres and help in achieving self-sufficiency.
Mona bint Mohsin bin Baqir Abdul Latif, Director of Women’s Projects at the ODB, presented a paper on the facilities provided by the bank for Omani women. In her paper, she discussed the value of the loan granted to Omani women which ranges between OMR500 to OMR3,000 including life insurance of the beneficiary. She said that under Ánamil product, the interest is zero per cent, the grace period extends to a maximum of three months, and the repayment period is monthly. Among its requirements is a personal guarantor with financial solvency, and the period of the use of the loan is 3 months.
She said that the conditions for obtaining the loan are that the applicant has to be practising the activity or has an experience enabling her to manage the project. She is also required to be at least 18 years old. The project has to be productive and economically feasible. The applicant has to provide the required supporting documents.
There are several documents required to get the loan, including a license to engage in individual business and commercial productivity at home, the personal card of the applicant and the guarantor, as well as proof of housing, address, proof of being free full-time or being a job seeker and proof of income of the sponsor, and other documents which may also be required by the bank, Mona bint Mohsin.
The ODB wants to finance women's projects to provide employment opportunities for them, to improve their living standard and that of their families. Through this project, the bank encourages women to set up their projects, increase their loan portfolio by 10 per cent annually and pays attention to meet their needs and aspirations as they represent half of the society. The bank is committed to the development and growth of the national economy, encourage local manufacturing and relying on local industries. The bank also wants to create new markets and start an honest competitive environment which helps in the manufacturing of high-quality products.
The areas where the ODB was providing finances are beauty salons, hairdressing, cooking Omani food, dates’ industry, tailoring and sewing women's clothes, renting ready-to-wear and wedding dresses, as well as making incense and perfumes, organizing parties, making pottery, cotton and woollen textiles, making cosmetics, and sweets and other projects which come in the framework of women's projects.
As part of its support to women's projects, the ODB also provides training in marketing, project management, and promotion of women's products on social media, in cooperation with several companies and institutions in the Sultanate of Oman. The bank wants to establish a market or "bazaar" to help women entrepreneurs sell their products, in cooperation with several concerned institutions.
The bank is aimed at the opening of communication channels with existing companies to market women's products through social media, and to promote women's loans in economic events, investment forums and specialised exhibitions, as well as cooperation with the relevant authorities to support women's projects.