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Eshraqa Entrepreneurship Academy (EEA) Honoured with Riyada SME Mentorship Program Award

Muscat 26 March 2019: Eshraqa Entrepreneurship Academy (EEA) was recently felicitated with the Riyada SME Mentorship Award for their guidance and support in contributing towards the development of SMEs in Oman. The Riyada SME Mentorship Program is an effective platform for SMEs to get technical and business knowledge from experienced Mentors in a structured, open and collaborative environment. The event, held under the patronage Dr. Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidi, Minister of Commerce and Industry awarded two major contributors of the EEA, Nailesh Khimji, Director – Khimji Ramdas (KR) and Nadeem Ahmed, General Manager – Khimji Training Institute - the successful Mentors from EEA with this prestigious accolade.

Nailesh Khimji is the founding member of Eshraqa, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of KR which plays a pivotal role in the Sultanate focusing on enhancing the quality of people and communities through its four strong pillars of Education, Health, Community Well-being and Training. He has taken a keen interest in shaping the Social Development causes that hinder the growth and progress of the nation. He is responsible for strategically guiding and shaping Eshraqa to implement numerous social outreach programs which reflect the organization’s goals to uphold His Majesty's Vision 2020 directives in every sphere of socio-economic development.

Commenting on the momentous occasion, Nailesh Khimji, said, “Our initiatives at Eshraqa Entrepreneurship Academy are based on the foundation of promoting the culture of entrepreneurship and self-employment with innovation amongst the youth of today, thereby laying the groundwork for the future that ultimately adds value to the national economy by spurring economic diversification. We are extremely delighted to partner with Riyada and other business entities to ensure a thriving environment optimum support to encourage, support and sustain SME development. We wish all the young leaders of Oman the best in their ventures.”

Nadeem Ahmed lead Training Initiative for Nationals programs for Eshraqa and heads Khimji Training Institute, is championing positive change in the arenas of education & training; equipping Oman’s talented youth with the right tools to embark on their dreams under the Eshraqa Entrepreneurship Academy. Embarked on a solemn journey of enabling future entrepreneurs and assisting already functional SMEs, EEA has been working in close association with Riyada –The Public Authority of Small and Medium Enterprise Development in their Mentorship Program since 2014. The key motive behind the EEA and SMEs incubated under Riyada is to enable budding entrepreneurs to convert their business ideas into viable and effective business solutions. These leaders of the future were assigned to select business leaders in Oman for guidance and mentoring.

Nadeem Ahmed commented on this collaboration, “Our objective from such partnerships is not only to empower the Omani youth but to build on the nation’s progress by giving back into the community. Being a mentor this program has been a particularly enriching experience; to assist someone who has created reality out of their aspirations is extremely satisfying. I have been privileged to work with remarkable individuals, and I am so incredibly proud of my mentee family, and how each person has gone on to accomplish so much in their own right. This prestigious honour that we received will serve to reinforce our determination to continue our work towards promoting sustainable development in the Sultanate.”

EEA has taken a step further, going forward to establish an exclusive Incubation Center and craft strategic partnerships with Riyada, SME Development Fund (SMEF) and the National Business Center to work hand-in-hand on multiple initiatives. These significant initiatives include Startup Weekend Sponsorship; INMA Leadership Program for SMEF; Business Incubation Center; and Pre-Incubation Program to name a few.

Under the umbrella of the Business Incubation Center; EEA has collaborated with the National Business Center and Riyada to train, coach, mentor, and provide networking opportunities to 20 innovative business ideas. Providing these start–ups with office space, telephone, internet, and other essential resources at no cost will be the first step in enabling business entrepreneurs to convert their business into viable yet effective business solutions.

This year, EEA has offered auxiliary support towards three most promising business start-ups which include Pocketcarage – a door to door car service provider that has already serviced over 200 cars along with Bubbles; Omani handmade organic product company, on display at the Muscat International Airport Duty free shop and will feature its exclusive products at the grand Al Araimi Boulevard. The third venture aptly named Aljoory Boukher, the incense manufacturing company that has won an entrepreneurship award for best micro enterprise and has a well- established store in the prestigious Al Araimi Complex.

The Eshraqa Entrepreneurship Academy falls under the Training pillar. EEA is committed to supporting the society with the aim to empower the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by creating employment opportunities, promoting sustainable development, adapting to the global digital transformation and most importantly contributing to the Gross domestic product (GDP).

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