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Small firms’ training and competitiveness:

The purpose of this study is to investigate the experiences of a number of successful Omani entrepreneurs to shed light on the type of entrepreneurship education needed in Oman. In this phenomenological study, in-depth interviews were conducted with sixteen entrepreneurs — eight male and eight female; they had diverse educational backgrounds and came from all the different provinces of Oman. Results suggest the major drivers that led participants to become entrepreneurs were their personal characteristics, family support and their prior work experience. The major difficulties were in securing project funding, developing their business skills and building their business reputation. However, after they had overcome these initial difficulties, they showed a commitment to their projects that gave them great resilience. They also noted that, during the process of becoming entrepreneurs, they had found support in their religious faith, but that their schooling had had a very limited influence on their experience. The study concludes by looking at the implications of these experiences and using them to suggest the role entrepreneurship education should play in the Omani school system in the future.