Zubair Small Enterprises Centre (Zubair SEC), along with three of its pioneering members, participated at the 1st GCC Business Incubators and Accelerators Conference held in Bahrain recently.
Bahrain SMEs Development Society, in cooperation with the country’s Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, organised the conference to highlight the support and resources that incubators and business accelerators provide start-ups to help launch successful businesses. Business incubators, accelerators, and young entrepreneurs from across the GCC participated and presented their stories at the conference.
Zubair SEC was extended a special invitation by the Bahraini conference organizers in recognition of the support the centre has been rendering to the development of the SME sector in Oman. Participation at this conference is designed to be an opportunity to share expertise and insight on the various countries’ experiences and entrepreneurial development journeys.
Along with various other objectives, the conference aimed at showcasing examples of leading SME support programmes in the GCC as well as a number of entrepreneurial stories illustrating how challenges have been faced, support has been provided, and progress has been achieved in the respective countries.
Zubair SEC team along with three of the Zubair SEC’s Direct Support Programme winners took an active role at the conference, sharing insight of the progress achieved so far in the SME support ecosystem present in the Sultanate, and a number of entrepreneurial stories.
The members of Zubair SEC attending the conference are: Adel Suwaid Al Abri, founder of Uniboats, a water sport equipment and activity company and winner of Zubair SEC’s Direct Support Programme (DSP) in 2015; Aliya Abdullah Al Nahbani, owner of Al Rawaye Al Shamikha poultry farm in Nizwa and winner of DSP programme in 2016; and Mahmoud Abdullah Al Amri, co-founder of Recycling Services, a waste management company, and winner of DSP for the year 2017.
Representing Zubair SEC, Adel Hubeishi, Senior Advisor, delivered a speech and participated in a round table talking about the role of Zubair SEC in particular and SME support ecosystem in general in the country. At the conference he explained how Zubair SEC has been instrumental in developing the culture of entrepreneurship in Oman. He elucidated on how Zubair SEC has gone beyond the traditional notion of a business incubator and moved towards a holistic ecosystem offering partnership, collaboration, business development, and affiliation.
Speaking of the conference Adel Hubeishi said, “We are delighted to have participated in this conference and appreciate the invitation extended to us by Bahrain Small and Medium Enterprises Development Society. We value this opportunity greatly as it was an important regional platform to voice what has been achieved so far in Oman. The centre represented the Sultanate’s SME sector and the three members embodied the growing Omani SME sector. It was also an opportunity for us to give a view of wider SME support ecosystem of Oman.”
Hubeishi added, “The members who were selected to attend the conference were some of the most active, engaged and successful members of the centre. We were very proud to take them to this important event. All of them have proved their mettle and perseverance over the few years and we were pleased to see them presenting their success stories.”
Adel Al Abri, winner of Zubair SEC’s Direct Support Programme in 2015, spoke about how he converted his hobby into a business and the challenges he faced and how he overcame them. He spoke about the role Zubair SEC played in the development of Uniboats through an array of business support resources and services.
Adel Al Abri said, “I appreciate Zubair SEC’s gesture to have nominated me to participate in this important conference. This was an excellent platform to reach out to other fellow entrepreneurs and talk business from across GCC. It was a great opportunity to present my journey in front of an esteemed audience and how I got support from both the public and private sector incubators in Oman.”
Aliya Abdullah Al Nahbani, winner of DSP programme in 2016, spoke about her experience in turning a traditional simple business model into a success story.
Aliya said, “It is not often that women decide to run a poultry barn. But I was determined to make a success story of this idea. I'm proud that as an Omani woman from Nizwa I have been able to achieve so much. It was a privilege to take part at this conference in Bahrain to tell my story and how I was supported. This was an opportunity for me to showcase how women are supported and endorsed in Oman by the government and private sector initiatives like Zubair SEC. I was delighted to say that women are given various opportunities to prove themselves in Oman.”
Mahmoud Abdullah Al Amri, winner of Zubzair SEC’s Direct Support Programme for the year 2017 shared his entrepreneurial story.
He said, “It was a proud moment for me to represent Oman and to tell the attendees that Oman is a major advocate for environmental responsibility and has serious initiatives and efforts in place to promote that. I was one of the first Omanis to start business in this field, thanks to the support I have received from various quarters I can say that I am enjoying immense success.”
He added, “Younger generation entrepreneurs are focused on developing skills and knowledge; they need to sustain their businesses. This was an excellent conference to discuss ways start-ups can successfully deal with the new challenges of the new economy. I thank Zubair SEC for choosing me to participate.”