Four out of five job seekers among 78% of Omani Youth are interested in the entrepreneurship sector. They have expressed interest in having their own business and setting up their own project when the necessary consultations and appropriate financing programs are available. The wholesale and retail sector was at the forefront of the most preferred sectors for Omani job seekers. About 57% of Omani job seekers are aware of the entrepreneurship supporter, compared to 43% do not know these entities, according to the results of the opinion poll on youth attitudes towards entrepreneurship, carried out by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Development.
The survey showed that the males (80%) are more interested in the entrepreneurship sector than females (76%). Among youth from social security, families males (78%) are most interested than females (77%). The Governorate of Ad-Dakhliyah (84%) recorded the highest percentage of preference for the same sector, followed by Al-Batinah South (82%), while the lowest percentage was recorded in the Governorate of Muscat (71%) and Dhofar (74%).
The survey also showed that the largest percentage of young job seekers still prefer paid job than entrepreneurship field, while only 17% of young job seekers prefer entrepreneurship than a paid job.
The survey pointed out that 21% of job seekers believe that the procedures for establishing new projects are easy for some extension, compared to 62% who believe that these procedures are difficult, and 17% were neutral. In term of easiness of these procedures between governorates, the highest percentage of people who believe in the ease of procedures has been recorded in the Governorate of Ash-Sharqiah South, by 32%, which is almost twice the percentage of those believing in the easiness of the procedures in the Governorate of Ad-Dakhliyah Governorate, by 15%.
In terms of the awareness of jobseekers about the entities which support the entrepreneurship, such as the Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Riyada), Al Rafd Fund, Ministry of Social Development, the Public Authority for Craft Industries, the National Committee on Youth, the Omani Development Bank, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, the Ministry of Manpower and other organizations and programs, the survey indicated that 57% of young Omanis are aware of supportive parties, where the percentage is slightly higher among males (59%) than females (57%). The percentage rises slightly between those who are unmarried (58%) than those married (55%), and is lower among young people from social security families (51%) than others (60%) are. The percentage of awareness about these bodies varies among governorates, with the highest rates recorded in the Governorate of Ad-Dakhliyah by 84%, and the lowest rates recorded in the Governorate of Muscat (71%).
The survey also pointed out that approximately one out of four (23%) of young job seekers believes that academic studies did not provide them the skills needed for entrepreneurship, except in insignificant levels, compared to 15% who believe that their studies have provided them with the skills needed significantly, while the largest percentage (62%) of the young job seekers stated that their academic studies provided them the skills needed in a medium level.
The survey also showed that 30% of young job seekers prefers to work in the wholesale and retail trade sector if they are able to have their own private business compared to 8% of young job seekers who prefer work-from-home projects and traditional crafts, in addition to many other sectors.
Males preferred the sectors of wholesale, retail trade, repairing services, maintenance, contracting, construction, and industry, while female preference was more in the sectors of home projects, traditional crafts, fashion, design, cosmetics, cosmetics education, and training. There was no significant difference in the preference for sectors among governorates and for individuals of the social security families.
The proportionality with talents and interests came at the forefront of the reasons for youth preference in certain sectors of entrepreneurship, with 46%, followed by the availability of the financial and good returns by 26%. The percentage with academic specialization was 25% and the presence of sufficient expertise and knowledge at 22%, and public demand for these areas at 10%
As for the most important challenges that affect the youth turnout for entrepreneurship, the survey found that fear of financial obligations that result from establishing private enterprises recorded 4.1 out of 10 points, and the challenge of fear that the loan amount provided by relevant financing entities would not be sufficient reached 3.6 points. The challenge of lack of clarity in the concept and projects of entrepreneurship due to poor definition and promotion recorded (3.3) points.
As for the most important proposals of the surveyed youth to enhance the culture of entrepreneurship, the survey results showed that the proposal of facilitating procedures for establishing projects, providing financial support and reducing or canceling loans interests was recorded at 30% for each, followed y the proposal of providing training in entrepreneurship for youth and guiding them, at 24%.