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As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, Petroleum Development of Oman (PDO) has been backing local women for building start-ups in a range of different industries.
Banat Oman is a PDO-backed social investment project, which aims to promote self-employment and entrepreneurship skills among Omani women, helps unemployed women forge rewarding careers and empowers and helps them raise their families’ income.
Fish, dairy, sweets, soaps, silverware and crafts—Omani women from across the country are being trained in entrepreneurship skills, and Banat Oman wishes to diversify the source of income for low-income families, and create jobs that can be performed in the comfort of the women’s homes.
Banat Oman has opened sales kiosks at retail outlets and their products are used at some hotels across the country. They also have a contract with the Juweirah Boutique Hotel and the Salalah Rotana Resort, and the Salalah Methanol Company, among others.
They are regular participants at various exhibitions, both in and out of Oman, and also won the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) award last year. PDO’s Social Investment Advisor Hanan al Rumhy, who is spearheading this project, attributes her accomplishments to hard work more than anything else.
Al Rumhy won the Al Mar’a Excellence Award for Social Responsibility a couple of years ago due to her excellent efforts in her field. She said, “It is an honour and I am extremely appreciative to have won an award being a working woman in Oman, it was one of the best experiences of my life. As a working woman in business, I attribute my success to hard work than to genius.” She has also headed several projects in her role as Social Investment Advisor, but a project that is very close to her heart is Banat Oman.
Meanwhile, PDO is sponsoring the training of 400 young Omanis to work in the automotive industry as part of its huge programme to create 50,000 jobs outside the oil and gas sector. The company has signed agreements with six car dealers for the US$3.3 million National Automotive Higher Institute (NAHI) training scheme.