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Recession breeds start-ups too.

Byline: Mrudu Naik

MUSCAT Eoe1/4" As the worst global downturn since the 1940s forces companies around the world to cut staff, more and more people are thinking about starting their own businesses.

Mohammed Al Maskari, director-general, Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM), and organiser of the annual TKM-Ernst & Young Big Business Idea Competition, says: Eoe1/4EoStriking out on your own in such times might seem risky, but if youEoe1/4aore sitting on a great business idea then perhaps you should give it a go. In a downturn, competition dwindles and office space, stock and advertising become cheaper.

Eoe1/4EoIn fact, downturns often encourage creativity. For

instance, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook were all recession start-ups.Eoe1/4A[yen]

Launched four years ago, the goal of the annual business plan competition is to encourage ground-breaking innovations and problem solving Eoe1/4" challenging Omani entrepreneurs to make a real difference by developing new markets and making a sustainable profit.

Working on developing accounting software for the finance sector; creating SMS search engines; developing web page templates Eoe1/4" this yearEoe1/4aos selected finalists will deliver five-minute elevator pitches to an audience of 150 invited guests at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on October 13.

Eoe1/4EoThe gala dinner is always very exciting and highly entertaining,Eoe1/4A[yen] says a smiling KOM director-general. The winners in this yearEoe1/4aos competition will take about six months to get their businesses up and running, and by that time the world expectedly would have climbed out of recession and consumers would have a new-found confidence.

Great time

Eoe1/4EoItEoe1/4aos a great time to strike out with a new business,Eoe1/4A[yen] says Mohammed Al Hinai, TKM coordinator.

Surprisingly, a recession can provide opportunities for business start-ups. Eoe1/4EoWhen the recovery begins,Eoe1/4A[yen] says Al Maskari, Eoe1/4Eopeople and

companies start to spend and look for suppliers. Those new businesses that have made their names known through good marketing during the downturn would certainly be noticed.Eoe1/4A[yen]

Rayan Al Kalbani of Mazoon Environmental & Technical Services and former winner of the Big Business Idea Competition says: Eoe1/4EoItEoe1/4aos important to keep things simple and not get carried away by your plans before you know theyEoe1/4aore going to work.

Eoe1/4EoDuring the start-up phase, people tend to make over-optimistic forecasts, and there can be serious consequences for your business if your projections arenEoe1/4aot realistic.Eoe1/4A[yen]

The young entrepreneur goes on to say: Eoe1/4EoStarting a business in an incubator like TKM is a marvellous opportunity. Since winning the competition and setting-up business, the incubator staff has been amazing.

Eoe1/4EoTheyEoe1/4aove arranged a series of mentor sessions for me, and those have been brilliant.Eoe1/4A[yen]

As far as advising local entrepreneurs is concerned, Al Maskari believes itEoe1/4aos Eoe1/4Eoall about getting thoughts onto paper and looking at the viability of the business idea.

Eoe1/4EoThis is where business plan competitions like ours play such an important role.Eoe1/4A[yen]

Muscat Press and Publishing House SAOC 2009

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Sep 27, 2009
Words:518
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