Shell Intilaaqah Successfully Completes ‘Sustain Your Business’ Workshops for Entrepreneurs
Supporting fresh entrepreneurs to manage their businesses successfully, Shell Intilaaqah hosted its training and development programmes, “Sustain Your Business”, in Muscat, Buraimi and Suhar. This phase ran in the form of two workshops; Specialised Courses and Managing Cash Crisis, that focused on a selection of the most important challenges start-ups face, including marketing, finances, pricing, human resources, and cash crisis. Held in collaboration with the Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Riyada), the courses were held as a part of Shell Intilaaqah’s ‘Aspire and Inspire’ programme, designed to support entrepreneurship amongst Omani youth.
The latest phase of the programme was open to Omani entrepreneurs whose businesses started at least six months ago and are still in the start-up stage, job-seekers, those in higher education and funding recipients, and people who participated in Shell Intilaaqah’s pre-incubation courses.
“Many entrepreneurs have excellent ideas but lack the technical knowledge and proper planning to see it into fruition, so they stumble at the start-up phase. Our workshops aimed to close this gap and give entrepreneurs all the tools they need to succeed in their businesses,” said Najwa Al Kindi, Executive Director of Shell Intilaaqah. “This year we upgraded the workshops based on feedback we received from incubators and Intilaaqah Alumni. With this extra input we are offered a solid range of skills to help participants gain and maintain a competitive advantage for their business, and be able to tackle any issues that arise.”
The first part of the programme, Specialised Courses served as a crash course in the technical aspects of running a business, it introduced a wide range of themes that included how to develop a marketing mix, pricing methods, financial planning, attracting employees and the Omani labour law.
While the Managing Cash Crisis 3-day workshop, equipped participants on how to predict and diagnose the reasons for a business cash crisis, how to contrive an action plan to rescue a struggling business, and the various stages and forms of a business crisis.
“Taking the leap to open up a business is exciting but also frightening, since there are so many risk factors,” said Khalid Al Ghaifaily, one of Shell Intilaaqah’s previous participants. “We are fortunate to have programmes such as Aspire and Inspire from Shell Intilaaqah, where we are given the necessary tools we need to overcome these risks and build our businesses successfully. Through them I was able to take my learnings and adapt them to running my own business. I’m happy to be an example to present and future participants that through determination and hard work, it is possible for your business dreams to become a reality.”
Since its establishment, Shell Intilaaqah’s Aspire and Inspire programme trained more than 10,000 young Omanis. It aims to support entrepreneurs through the various stages of their business start-ups, from developing compelling business ideas, to becoming successful business owners. It also provides specialized counselling, mentoring and training on managing cash crises.
Shell began its downstream marketing operations in Oman in 1958 when the Shell Company of South Eastern Arabia - the forerunner of Shell Markets (Middle East) Limited – obtained trading rights from the Late Sultan Said bin Taimur. The fuel was initially imported on trading dhows, the drums were tied with a rope and floated ashore and then hand-rolled inland. All trading was carried out through a local agent.
When in 1958 Shell obtained a contract from PDO to supply fuel it was decided to build a depot at Saih al Mailah Bay (now known as Mina al Fahal). The department had two bulk tanks for motor gasoline and Gasol, a two paint bulk filling gantry, a go-down for lubricants, a drum filling gantry, a small depot office and a house.