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Friday, June 6, 2014
Rafd Fund opens 1st branch in Muscat
By Hasan Kamoonpuri — MUSCAT — Al Rafd Fund, the Sultanate’s key organisation for the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) established last year following a Royal Decree, yesterday opened its first branch in in the Governorate of Muscat at the premises of Public Authority for the Development of SMEs. Speaking on the occasion, Tariq bin Sulaiman al Farsi, Chief Executive Officer, Al Rafd Fund said three other branches of Al Rafd Fund will be opened this year each in the Wilayat of Salalah, Sohar, and Sur.
He said Al Rafd Fund consists of SME funding schemes such as Mawrid Programme, for people with disabilities and those under the social security system, Taasees Program for job-seekers who wish to start SMEs, Riyada Program for all entrepreneurs, craftsmen, businessmen and women and rural women, and Taaziz Programme for beneficiaries of the fund and those who seek to expand their projects. The passion and vision behind the fund is gaining momentum because these programs cover all segments of Omani society and receive good response form the public.
The opening ceremony held under the auspices of Mohammed bin al Zubair, Adviser to His Majesty the Sultan for Economic Planning Affairs, was attended by a number of SME owners, and dignitaries including the Minister of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of the Board of Directors Al Rafd Fund, Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy. Since January 2014, Al Rafd Fund has achieved several feats such as the launch of its call centre, website, loans to many startup project owners, and has been moving forward to finance 523 projects, involving a total of RO 14.680 million. These encouraging results would not have been possible without the concerted efforts of all parties, and particularly the support of Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Chairman of the Board of