banking

ahlibank launches crowd funding initiative to empower SME growth

June 15, 2022

Muscat: As part of its endeavour to support Oman’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and bolster the national economy, ahlibank has launched its first-of-its-kind 'Tamkeen' crowdfunding initiative, at a press conference held on June 14.

This pioneering initiative comes after signing a strategic partnership agreement between ahlibank and Beehive to offer this unique online financial lending solution specifically for Oman’s SMEs to support their business endeavours and create a sustainable ecosystem that allows the country’s economic diversification efforts to flourish.

Commenting on this partnership, Taher Al Balushi - DGM-Head of Strategy & Transformation, said, “We are pleased to announce the launch of our 'Tamkeen' crowd Funding initiative, which is the first-of-its-kind, in an exclusive collaboration with Beehive.
“SMEs form the backbone of any economy, and their role has continued to become significant, aligning with the Sultanate’s efforts towards diversifying a more inclusive economy as part of the Oman Vision 2040 objective.”

Elaborating on the importance of such initiatives Al Balushi added, “Through 'Tamkeen' ahlibank hopes to contribute towards a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem that allows SMEs to prosper. In particular, we think this will benefit micro SMEs (MSMEs) become key players in both nation’s economic progress and contributing to the local human resource talent pool by creating high-quality traineeships and jobs with the funding they receive.”

'Tamkeen' aims to narrow the funding gap by offering quick and seamless access to financing for SMEs and will allow them to avail financial packages ranging between OMR 20,000 and OMR 80,000, and provide benefits such as competitive pricing, streamlined procedures, and simple repayment terms without the need to provide any security or collateral. Such offerings will work to financially empower local businesses to augment their growth and provide them with wider national economic benefits.

Beehive’s peer-to-peer Fintech platform will allow ahlibank to reach local businesses through the provision of cutting-edge digital lending solutions that are accessible, cost-effective, provide enhanced security, and encourage sustainable financial inclusion.
Capital Market Authority’s recent framework for equity crowdfunding will also enhance financial inclusion, ensure improved access to unsecured finance and mitigate cash flow barriers that are generally affecting the sustained growth of SMEs in the country.

According to National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) records released at the end of April this year, the total number of SMEs registered with the SME Development Authority in Oman had increased by 44.3%to reach 75,800 as compared to 52,524 establishments during the same period in 2021.

These figures are a solid indication that given an ideal environment to grow, local businesses can become effective contributors to the nation’s economy. Supported by ahlibank’s commitment to providing customer-centric services through pioneering initiatives, 'Tamkeen' will encourage a positive and unfettered financing climate that will in turn enhance In-country value, productivity, and employability, and boost the bank’s contribution to the nation’s progress.

timesofoman

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