The Knowledge Mine (TKM) a business incubator program based at Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM) welcomed its first female entrepreneurs, Success Technology, a scientific and medical software technology start-up founded and managed by Dr. Zahra Al Rawahi and Munira Al Mahrooqi (pictured: left to right - Al Rawahi and Al Mahrooqi).
According to Dr. Zahra Al Rawahi, an Assistant Professor and Computer & Information Technology Chairperson at Sultan Qaboos University's College of Medicine & Health Sciences: “We're delighted to be initiating our operations in TKM, it offers us a host of services that we couldn't possibly get outside a Tech Park environment - from subsidized office space to mentoring to networking, it's a great opportunity for us to take Success Technology on and up.”
“Business incubators like TKM are intended to nurture the development of entrepreneurial companies, helping them survive and grow during the start-up period when they're at their most vulnerable,” said Dave Pender, Advisor at PEIE. “TKM was set up in April 2004 to help create jobs, enhance Oman's entrepreneurial climate, retain businesses, build and accelerate growth in Oman's ICT industry and help diversify the national economy.”
Remarking on the importance of having women set up businesses in TKM, Mohammed Al Maskari, KOM's Acting Director General said: “Self employment is an increasingly important way for Omani women to participate in the development of the national economy. Dr. Al Rawahi and Ms. Al Mahrooqi are making a bold move in establishing Success Technology, this certainly isn't an easy thing to do.”
“However, I'd like to see more women follow in their footsteps. We need to tackle the barriers to female enterprise, have greater access to finance, stronger business support, help in increasing women's business confidence and self esteem, and have more role models like Dr. Al Rawahi and Ms. Al Mahrooqi.”
PEIE's Ibtisam Al Faruji who works in marketing TKM said: “Every Omani woman with the desire to start or grow a business needs our support, but we also need to change the culture to help deliver that so that more women view the option of enterprise as a positive and achievable aspiration. TKM goes a long way in helping that process.”