In recent years, Oman has witnessed a burgeoning startup culture, showcasing impressive growth. Despite this positive trajectory, the collective market value of Omani startups currently hovers at around US$300 million. To address the challenges and cultivate a thriving entrepreneurial landscape, Oman has embarked on a promising partnership with the US-based research and advisory firm, Startup Genome Foundation, renowned for its expertise in innovation policy.
On a significant note, a delegation from Startup Genome recently presented its invaluable insights during a meeting with officials from the Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (ASMED), chaired by Halima bint Rashid al Zaria. The gathering aimed to delve into ASMED’s strategic direction and objectives, with a distinct emphasis on nurturing emerging technology-based and innovation-driven enterprises.
The discussions encompassed a broad spectrum of government and private initiatives within Oman, all designed to invigorate the startup ecosystem. Recognizing the paramount importance of Oman’s integration into the global startup arena, ASMED explored avenues to enhance the competitiveness of Omani startups, aligning them with prevailing global trends.
Startup Genome, with its track record of analyzing policies and programs to maximize economic impact and growth in the startup sector, brings a wealth of expertise to this collaboration. The foundation has played a pivotal role in the development of more than 145 startup ecosystems across over 50 countries.
Presently, Startup Genome is actively engaged in conducting an analytical study to comprehensively assess the challenges faced by startups in Oman. This extensive effort entails interviews and meetings with Omani startup founders, key decision-makers in entrepreneurship-supporting entities, and representatives from educational institutions.
Notably, Startup Genome recently unveiled a global report that positioned Oman among the top ten countries in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region for its ability to attract talented entrepreneurs. Furthermore, Oman ranks within the top 15 MENA countries for the development and efficiency of its startup ecosystems.
These positive indicators underscore the collaborative synergy among government institutions committed to advancing the Omani startup sector. A notable milestone in this endeavor is the launch of the ‘Promising Omani Startups Programme,’ under the esteemed chairmanship of H H Sayyid Bilarab bin Haitham al Said.
This national initiative is strategically designed to catalyze an ecosystem for emerging startups rooted in advanced technology and innovation within Oman. It hinges on promoting a startup culture within educational institutions, raising awareness of its significance within the community, and propelling Omani startups onto regional and global stages. The program operates on three pivotal pillars: capacity building, financing and investing, and the establishment of a supportive regulatory framework. As Oman continues to nurture its startup landscape, these collaborative efforts and strategic initiatives pave the way for a promising entrepreneurial future.