Al Bustan Palace, Oman. 28 October 2014. The MEED Oman Projects Forum was told this morning that the SME Development Fund, which raised its first RO 20 million ($5.4 million) tranche in February, is developing its initial SME promotion and investment programmes.
They include setting up entrepreneurship campuses within 10 Omani universities and colleges. These will inform and train Omani students about how to set up a business when they graduate. The programmes are voluntary and are in addition to students’ formal study programmes.
SME Development Fund chief executive officer Raphael Parambi said that the fund has also disbursed its first loans to SMEs. He said the fund provides a wide range of financing with the exception of equity.
The SME Development Fund is backed by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. Its authorised capital is RO 100 million ($27 million). The Fund’s primary objective is to finance SMEs and promote entrepreneurship and sustainable SME development. The Fund is supported by National Company for Project Management.
The fund was developed under the offset Partnership for Development Programme for defence and security contracts.
Sponsors of MEED Oman Projects Forum
Oman Development Bank is SME financial partner. AECOM is bronze sponsor. Drake & Scull International and Hill International are conference sponsors. Al Madina Insurance, Acciona and EHAF are exhibiting. Rotary Engineering is lanyard sponsor. Networking sponsors are Galfar and Sarooj.