(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Bank muscat and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, signed an agreement to facilitate financing access to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to help them expand and create jobs.The agreement, according to a press release, will see IFC advise the bank as it launches new products and services aimed at micro, small, and medium enterprises.Bank muscat will also offer support to women-owned businesses, helping them become more active players in the Omani economy.There are over 100,000 small businesses in Oman and IFC will help bank muscat develop a new model for reaching out to these enterprises, offering businesses not only loans, but also advisory services.AbdulRazak Ali Issa, chief executive of bank muscat, said, ''Small businesses are a vital part of the Omani economy. Bank muscat is proud to sign this agreement with IFC which will help entrepreneurs to address the challenges faced by SME business and provide an environment critical to SME success.''''In many ways, Oman's banking system can serve as a model for other countries in the Middle East and North Africa," said Rashad Kaldany, IFC vice president of global industries.The agreement marks the consolidation of a partnership between the two organisations. In 2011, IFC provided bank muscat with a US170mn loan to boost lending to small businesses. The initiative is part of IFC's efforts in the Middle East and North Africa to support firms.