Friday, May 09, 2008

BBIC 2008 Gets More Backing

Young Omanis have the chance to win RO5,000 and 12 months rent free office accommodation in The Knowledge Mine business incubator program if they enter the TKM – Ernst & Young Big Business Idea Competition which was launched recently at Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM) by the Park’s Director General, Mohammed Al Maskari and KOM’s Head of Marketing, Ibtisam Al Faruji.

Al Maskari comments: “The TKM – Ernst & Young Big Business Idea Competition seeks to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit amongst Oman’s youth so that they are equipped with business and commercial awareness for their future careers whether they be in academia, business or the public sector. If we’re to bridge the productivity gap which currently exists between this region and the rest of the world, we have to increase business start-ups and entrepreneurialism. That’s why competitions like this are so important.”

Backed by Ernst & Young, Knowledge Horizon, Infocomm, Ericsson, NCR, Intilaaqah, OER and Sanad this is the third year that the competition has been held and according to Abeer Al Jasim, Head of Professional Qualifications, Knowledge Horizon: “This is a unique nation-wide competition aimed at inspiring people to be enterprising and to turn their business ideas into something real. We’re absolutely delighted to be part of that. Any initiative that promotes Oman’s start-up culture has to be welcomed. In fact, I’ve watched the competition grow in stature over the past few years and felt now was a good time for Knowledge Horizon to get involved.”

A series of start-up workshops will be delivered by the competition’s supporters, including Knowledge Horizon, and these will cover themes like writing a business plan; the importance of technology to start-ups; small business finance; developing a business idea; and presentation skills.

Al Faruji adds: “The competition provides an exciting opportunity for Omani entrepreneurs to enhance their personal and professional skills and develop business acumen which will improve their career opportunities. We’re very keen to encourage Omani research students and post-docs to take part in this initiative in order to develop greater commercial awareness and I'm sure the first prize of RO5,000 plus free office accommodation for 12 months will be a wonderful inducement.”

The TKM–Ernst & Young Big Business Idea Competition has been helping to raise the profile of start-up and spin-out organisations since its inception in 2006 by providing valuable exposure for growing businesses and access to a wide range of resources, advice and guidance through its workshop programme and networking activities. The competition is free of charge and open to all Omani nationals. The competition’s closing date is 7 July and application forms can be downloaded from

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