Muscat: One of the biggest achievements in the march towards empowering women in Oman is flourishing home businesses.
The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion has been supporting the movement by encouraging and giving guidelines on how to acquire the home business licences or the commercial registration number to get the confidence of consumers.
By April 30, 2020 the number amounted to 7,795 licences.
Hafsa al Ismaily and Rahma al Ismaily are sisters who have full time jobs in the private sector. But they felt they needed to do more with their skills and talent. With full support from their family they took their first steps and now they are full of ambitions.
For both of them the creative ideas come from the kitchen. “I thought of many ideas but I started with cooking because cooking is my favourite hobby. The business is based on Instagram. It was difficult at first, but once I took the decision, with God’s grace the customers just followed. When they say it is delicious. I feel great!”
She has always had an entrepreneurial flair. In school she had learnt crochet and thread work before she knew it she was already selling them for RO 5 to RO 7. “When life got busy with exams I had forgotten about my little business,” she reflected.
She specialises in traditional cuisine while her sister went on to make ice cream.
“I use all natural materials, I have tamarind, mangoes and different berries,” Rahma explained. She has designed tricolor ice cream for Omani Women’s Day.
Ask her who inspires her the most and she says, “My family, friends and my husband”
“I hope one day I will open a restaurant,” said Hafsa.
“I want to have an ice cream truck so I can take my ice creams to other towns in Oman. At present my business is focused only in Al Hail and Mabela. If I have a truck I will move it to the interior also. I will drive it as well,” Rahma said enthusiastically.
“I think it is the way women support each other, whether they are in my family, friends or colleagues. They encouraged me and gave me hope,” pointed out Hafsa. The hope went on to become confidence.
“As Omani women we are so lucky because of His Majesty we are where we are!”