Tamkeen helping to achieve Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030

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Over 45,000 businesses have received support from Tamkeen since its establishment.

The Kingdom of Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030 aims to develop the island’s private sector growth to meet the constantly changing needs of local, regional, and international markets’. With this aim, Bahrain’s government is launching numerous development initiatives to achieve its economic goals and to make the kingdom attractive to foreign investors, while at the same time supporting Bahraini enterprises including startups and SMEs. Established in 2006, the Labour Fund Tamkeen has played a significant role in the Economic Vision’s aim. To date, Tamkeen has supported more than 183,000 individuals and more than 51,000 businesses through more than 339 programs. One of the vital strengths of Tamkeen’s work is its focus on creating a sustainable impact.

Tamkeen uses many forms of communication to gather essential feedback on the impact of its actions while monitoring the different market indicators of future trends, which could potentially lead to the emergence of new economic sectors. Diversifying the economy is one of the major national priorities, and Tamkeen is helping to meet the growing needs of new sectors in the country. Tamkeen has undergone a noticeable evolution in the support extended to the private sector and its resulting impact on the national economy.

Over the last few years, Tamkeen served more than 25% of the Bahrainis currently employed in the private sector as part of programs aimed at training and wage support and increment. In 2018 alone, the program’s wage support category witnessed a 207% increase in the support amount given through it compared to the previous year. Support for the Wage Increase category amount increased by 86% and served more than 4,400 Bahraini employees, an increase of 192% compared to the previous year. The training support category, meanwhile, jumped by 121% in the support amount in 2018 compared to 2017. Start-ups comprised 62.4% of the total number of enterprises served under the same program since its launch as part of the larger flagship Enterprise Support Program in 2016.

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Start-ups also comprised around 56% of the total enterprises served by enterprise business development offerings since 2014. Several of Tamkeen’s initiatives are designed to foster enterprises at all stages of growth, from start-ups to established businesses. Tamkeen’s support, from this perspective, is extended through three main support categories: grants, financing and investment. These categories address key factors related to the growth and expansion of businesses while improving their ability to meet sustainability requirements to ensure a robust infrastructure and foundation for their operations. Grants and financing facilities help these enterprises develop their business, but also the advisory services provide essential soft-skill knowledge towards managing the enterprises’ goals and encourages a talented workforce.
Creating these partnerships encourage creativity and innovation and assist with the emergence of new business sectors that can boost the country’s economy, further attracting businesses from around the world and creating further job opportunities. Attracting investors is one of Tamkeen’s objectives in line with Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030, as such investment means new opportunities for the Bahraini market by providing increased economic opportunities for Bahraini businesses to expand.
To date, Bahrain has proven to provide a unique entrepreneurial ecosystem which is based on the non-oil sector, as part of the national effort to increase the non-oil sector’s contribution to the national economy. The Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) is one of the key international and strategic events, for which Bahrain has won the bid to host in 2019. The announcement of the successful bid was made at UN Headquarters in New York. The annual global event has previously been hosted by countries including the US, UK, UAE, China, Italy, Brazil and Russia.

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The event successfully brings together thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and start-ups from over 170 countries to identify new ways of helping founders start and scale of the key international and strategic events, for which Bahrain has won the bid to host in 2019.
The announcement of the successful bid was made at UN Headquarters in New York. Bahrain also participated in Pitch@ Palace for the first time in 2018, with Bahraini contestants being nominated to the GGC round of Pitch@Palace in Abu Dhabi, and winning the People’s Choice Award of the International held in London. As part of its participation in the GCC round of the competition, Bahrain has been selected to host Pitch@Palace GCC 0.2 in 2019. The Pitch@Palace is one of the world’s leading initiatives that celebrate the entrepreneurship sector. It is known to encourage start-ups and provide entrepreneurs with a platform to develop their budding enterprises, all within an integrated interactive program that enables participants to benefit from an extensive network of expertise and support from local and international specialists.