Recent years have seen a major thrust towards inculcating the culture of home-based businesses in the Sultanate of Oman as the government is encouraging its citizens to contribute independently to the country’s socio-economic growth.
This means that the Omani leadership is putting into perspective the capabilities of its people in line with the goals in Vision 2040 through the development of mechanisms and programmes related to micro-entrepreneurship.
For business, Vision 2040 provides an incentive for change that calls for a paradigm shift in all aspects of doing business. With Vision 2040, small businesses step up to play a leading role in the Renewed Renaissance, and contribute to the company’s growth and Oman’s sustainable future through the successful implementation of this vision.
With home-based businesses growing in popularity thanks to their flexibility and small costs, instead of hiring outsiders, these micro-entrepreneurs rely on family members and friends to help individuals support while maintaining their day jobs.
An entrepreneur of a home-based business doesn’t have to own the property but does need to be running a business out of the same premises where he or she lives for the business to be considered a home business.
The Omani government's approach to hand-holding small business ideas, owners, and innovators has been all-encompassing, targeting various sectors which vary from ICT, science, food, and environment to handicrafts to name but a few.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, a home business can be practiced by citizens in their homes to find an income mechanism that helps them meet the requirements of daily life.
“These businesses are considered micro-projects not only to help develop an income for the family but they can also be expanded by opening shops and small and medium enterprises in the future. This in turn will contribute to the national economy”, the ministry says.
The ministry confirms that home business owners can electronically obtain a commercial registry through self-service or service-providing offices in a number of home business activities that are allowed to be practiced.
To encourage the citizens to do home businesses, which according to a decision by the ministry, can be practiced only by citizens and need a licence from the competent authorities.
“Home businesses can be practiced only by citizens in their homes, and these businesses are considered micro-projects to develop an income for the owners, with a valid license or the usual commercial registration to ensure the rights of the seller and the buyer alike and to ensure the confidence of dealers in transactions”, the decision says.
Statistics issued by the ministry show that the number of registered records for home business reached 9,092 in various domestic activities at the end of 2021.
According to the decision, a number of activities including packaging, retail sale of flowers and natural plants, retail sale of artificial flowers and plants, hairdressing and cosmetics for women, retail sale of textiles and fabrics of all kinds and retail sale of ready-made garments.
Other activities are manufacture of Omani khanjars, silver handicraft making, products made from ingredients distilled from flowers and herbs, manufacture of craft products for the production of frankincense water and oil, production and refining of olive oil, manufacture of handicraft products from cotton fabric or wool and manufacture of craft products from leather.
In addition to them are the manufacture of craft products from fronds, manufacture of craft products from wood, manufacture of craft products for cosmetics and perfumes; manufacture and processing of incense, manufacture of handicraft products of pottery and earthenware, manufacture of handicraft products from stone and gypsum etc.