1. What does it feel to receive The BIZZ award?
It is indeed an honor to receive such prestigious award and we are proud to see our efforts are recognized internationally as it gives as fuel to continue achieving more in the future.
2. What is your company activity?
Sharakah is an SME supporting organization that was established by a royal decree in 1998 to provide both financial and administrative support to small and medium enterprises.
3. What are the objectives of the company?
We have 5 main objectives as follows:
- Support Oman’s vision to diversify the economy.
- Encourage the creation of SMEs.
- Develop the entrepreneurial capabilities of Omanis.
- Assist in creating sustainable SMEs.
- Create job opportunities for locals.
4. What is the vision of your company?
Our vision is to be the SME supporting organization which everyone is proud to be associated with.
5. What do you think is the differential value of your company?
What makes Sharakah different from other organizations is the fact we combine both administrative and financial support under one roof. In addition, our financial support reaches up to OMR 200,000 (approximately $518,134.7) per project along with 9 different administrative services to ensure the sustainability of each SME.
6. What benefits do you think that your business reach as a WORLDCOB associate?
Several benefits can be resulted from obtaining such prestigious award. Firstly, it adds to the organization’s brand images and would change the perception of potential clients about the organization. Secondly, the business network of the organization can be further expanded as we get to know more about the winners of this awards. Thirdly, our organization will inspire ambitious organizations within our local community to know more about the award and provide their worth of it, leading to the positive change that we always aim for.
7. Who are your successful role models?
We believe His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, The Sultan of Oman is our first and foremost role model as the organization was established by a royal decree and he was the first to give the generous donation of OMR 1,000,000 to get the organization started. Alternatively, every SME who has strived and overcome challenges and made a success. Examples of these are many, we invite you to check it at our website link: http://www.sharakah.om/Index.aspx
8. What has been the most difficult moment happened and how the company overcame?
Ensuring the sustainability of SMEs that we have supported has always been the most difficult challenge. Earlier we use to provide ad-hoc post-financial services. We now have clear mechanism and tools that we have developed internally to monitor the performance of these SMEs and guide them towards achieving more positive results.
9. What major achievements has reached the company since its inception? Some of the achievements can be listed as follows:
- We have supported more than 80 projects, with an average investment of OMR 62,578 (approximately $162,119)
- We have invested OMR 5.17 million in SMEs, which is an equivalant of 97% of the initial captial.
- Over the last 5 years, we had more than 3,220 inquiries about the organization.
- Our presence in social media is much more lively and responsive than ever before.
- We have been awarded “Best Enterprise” at the European Business Assembly, Oxford, UK, 2015.
- We have been awarded “The Bizz 2016 Business Excellence Award”, Monte Carlo, Monaco, 2016.
- We have been awarded “Special SME Product” – The Mediterranean Awards for Global Excellence in Islamic finance, Malta, 2011
10. What message would you give to WORLDCOB entrepreneurs network?
First of all it is a privilege for us to be networking with WORLDCOB entrepreneurs and we as an ambitious organization would like to thank all entrepreneurs for being the great examples and success stories that contribute to the communities at large. We would like to show our appreciation by collaborating with them to further enrich this vital sector.
Mohamed Al Lawati