MUSCAT: More Omani youth with higher education qualification than before are ready to take up entrepreneurship.
Demographics of a nation is one of its most important features. Majority of the population in Oman consists of youth and, accordingly, investment has been placed at various levels throughout the modern renaissance of the Sultanate.
As the country promotes the spirit of entrepreneurship, where does the youth stand with the concept?
The latest study by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) found that among the youth who wanted to move towards entrepreneurship, about 70 per cent had higher education qualification in 2019, while it was only 28 per cent
Job-seekers ready to experiment with entrepreneurship in 2015 was 46 per cent, while in 2019 it is 43 per cent.
However, an interesting development is the attitude of youth towards entrepreneurship who already have secured jobs.
In 2015, 72 per cent of the youth who were employed were keen to go independent, however in 2019 the figure dropped to 55 per cent.
Does that mean the youth
who have secured jobs do not want to take risks?
The NSCI study also looked into the challenges the youth face in establishing their own businesses.
According to the study, three main obstacles are not having enough capital, tackling procedures in establishing business and difficulty in obtaining government permits and lack of experience in managing businesses.
According to NCSI’s earlier report, the total number of SMEs registered with Riyada, the Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, till the end of December 2018 stood at 5,454 with a drop of 36.7 per cent compared to the earlier year.
While there is an urge from various entities to organise and establish businesses, many youth like to freelance and experiment the market before they go for a start-up. Asma al Saadi has just one more year at the College of Education at a leading university in Oman, but she has already successfully designed logos for businesses in Oman and other GCC countries since two years.
Ask her whether she would start her own company for graphic designing and her answer is ‘No,’ she explained, “I would not go for graphic designing, but may opt for digital marketing. I learnt designing through self study by going through YouTube and other digital channels. I do hope I can take up this profession seriously too. It is the presence in the Internet through Tweeter, Behance and other web pages for designers such as on the web that got me linked to businesses abroad.
But it is like a seasonal job, sometimes there is money and other times it is quiet.”
“Nothing stops me from owning a company, but I must have enough experience. Maybe I am on my third step. I have been working with Mutrjmcom looking after the web designing of the company. So I am also looking into web designing. When companies have faith in me, they actually help me to do better,” said Asma.
Meanwhile, Mona al Shukairy who was into home business with the participation of the family moved onto having an organised store with theme at a shopping mall.
“It all happened because of my participation in a competition by Riyada. When it was a home business it was just a hobby. But with the right guidance we went on to become very organised not just in products but with finance and accounts as well. When we opened the store everything was systemised.”
The nature of the business is traditional, yet modern, she explains.
“We make incense, perfumes, essential oils, body lotions, soaps and creams. Our products are branded now, and has its own logo and most importantly we have distributors and the products are available at Muscat Airport and National Museum, as well as at the malls in the United Arab Emirates.”