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Oman sets GCC record with Startup Weekend.

MUSCAT: The Startup Weekend Oman, a programme to encourage young people to adopt private business initiatives for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), was launched yesterday at Safeer Plaza Hotel in Al Khuwair.

Donald Desantis, Startup Weekend facilitator from US, in his opening remarks briefed about background of the programme and its future plans. Ninety-six Omani boys and girls will be participating in the event which will continue through the weekend. The Sultanate is the first nation in the GCC and Arab region to host this version of the programme which has already made its presence felt in 52 countries around the world. The programme motivates young people to establish their own projects. During the workshop, judges will review the creative ideas of youngsters and evaluate their projects accordingly.

A delegate from the Startup Foundation International will be attending the programme. Experts from Sultanate and other places will share their experiences with the participants on nuances of establishing small and medium projects and how they can take advantage of these opportunities.

Aziza Al Ghafry, Assistant Professor in the Colleges of Applied Sciences, Ministry of Higher Education, indicated that a€?the commencement of Startup Weekend in the Sultanate is an important step as being one of the international programmes aimed at raising the spirit of initiatives to establish SMEs in the Sultanatea€Y.

a€?This programme will add value both to the economy and society. The Sultanatea€™s hosting of the programme as the first Arab country is important in the framework of promoting such international programmes that cope with the policies of the government to encourage young people to establish their own businesses,a€Y she said. a€?We hope that the workshop achieves the desirable objective and provides opportunity for all to consider and benefit from this rich international experience.

a€?The appeal of the programme is great and very encouraging, which made us feel comfortable to such response which reflects the desire of young people to benefit from such programmes, as well as their desire to establish their own businesses,a€Y Aziza added.

Sultan bin Nasser Al Maa€™mary, External Affairs Manager at Oman India Fertilizer Company indicated that the company is proud to sponsor this international programme aimed at stimulating young people to innovate and establish their own projects out of its national and corporate social responsibility.

a€?We hope that the youth benefit from the workshop to be administered by a delegate from the Startup Foundation International and to get familiar with how to establish their own businesses and ways to make them a success as well as know this international experience. The turnout was above expectations,a€Y he added.

Muscat Press and Publishing House SAOC 2009

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Jul 31, 2010
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