MUSCAT: The Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (PASMED) on Tuesday held a workshop on its Entrepreneurship Awards, for dignitaries and senior public and private sector officials, at Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

The workshop, held under the auspices of H E Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed al Sarmi, Undersecretary in the Ministry of Higher Education, briefed the audience on the rules, registrations and categories.

The first such award instituted by PASMED, it recognises the efforts of entrepreneurs, micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as contributions of supportive financial, governmental and private entities.

The awards are divided into three main categories – the Entrepreneurship Award, the Entrepreneurship Award for SMEs and the Entrepreneurship Backers Award.

A video listing the rule process and describing the registration was screened along with a presentation on the initiative’s goals by Ahmed Abdul Kareem al Hooti, a member of the Entrepreneurship Award committee.

Khalifa Said al Abri, acting CEO of PASMED, said, “This workshop indicates the significant role SMEs play in building the community and economy. We are all responsible for securing a suitable environment for the youth to facilitate their creativity and add to the sultanate’s economy.”

He added, “Entries for the awards have reached 192 since registrations opened on August 10. The registration of SMEs as well as other competing entities in various categories so far reveals a positive reception from participants.”

Out of the 192 registrations, 110 were for the Entrepreneurship Award category, while 82 were for the Entrepreneurship Award for SMEs. Registrations are open till September 25.

Emphasising on the need to advance the SMEs sector in the sultanate, Abri said, “We are working towards developing this sector’s economy by creating initiatives that adapt to the shifting times and environment. Developing this sector has also become the shared responsibility of different parties and individuals in the community to help create a competitive advantage in this field.”

Instituting these awards during the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Symposium at Saih al Shamekhat, Bahla last year, reflects on their role in creating a diverse economy that relies on knowledge and innovation.

The Entrepreneurship Awards aim to build confidence, and present an opportunity for Omani youth to strengthen their competitive skills, he said.

PASMED representatives will hold a series of informative workshops on the awards across the sultanate. The next will be held in Sohar on September 7, followed by another in Salalah on September 14.