(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The Public Authority for SME Development (PASMED) on Monday signed an agreement with the Muscat Grand Mall (MGM) to develop up to 2,500sq m to house 50 outlets for the growing SME sector in the country.
As per the agreement, the new SME retail centre located on the third floor of MGM will be designed to accommodate 19 shops and 31 kiosks which will showcase products from different entrepreneurs.
The space at this centre will be rented out to entrepreneurs who are registered with PASMED and the Al Rafd Fund for one to three years at nominal rates.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Hassan Jaboub, general manager of MGM, ''We are aware of the important role that the small and medium sector plays in developing economies worldwide. SMEs in Oman will be able to rapidly grow their businesses and build awareness for their brands and products by taking space in the middle of Muscat's favourite retail destination.''
He added that MGM has always hosted and supported small entrepreneurs, giving them a platform to showcase their products “ be it at any stage of the business cycle. ''We are happy to say that over 25 per cent of the brands housed at our mall belong to the SME sector. We believe that this exposure will not only benefit budding entrepreneurs, but will also give them a chance to showcase their abilities to a larger audience in a destination such as MGM which attracts more than 25,000 visitors every day.''
Khalifa Said Salim al Abri, acting CEO of PASMED said, ''It is our responsibility to support SMEs to ensure that they contribute to the Omani economy. This new SME retail centre is a step towards realising that vision. The entrepreneurs will spend up to three years in the new centre developing their administrative, accounting and leadership skills under the guidance of industry experts and will emerge independent and more confident to run their own businesses in the future.''
The new centre will also provide support to SMEs through funds, in addition to design, promotional and marketing campaigns of their respective products. ''We will work with MGM to support entrepreneurs in various ways to meet the training, financing and promotional needs which are all vital to the success of a business. Being a leader in their industry, MGM will be able to provide insights into running a prosperous retail business and these inputs will be very valuable to the young entrepreneurs.''
Jaboub added, ''We at MGM are looking forward to working with budding business owners and to help their ideas mature into successful businesses. I am confident of the success of the project and I am sure that this centre will become an incubator where SMEs will learn best pract