200th EditionBahrain

Tamkeen: Innovation and Sustainable Growth

Gulf Insider speaks to Hussain Mohamed Rajab, Chief Executive of Tamkeen on their new programmes and vision for Bahrain’s growth and development.

How will the new Tamkeen programmes impact the growth of Bahraini businesses and entrepreneurs?

Our programmes were curated to ensure that our customers achieve their maximum potential for growth. We crafted these dynamic new programmes following a series of consultation sessions with the private sector across various industries and as such they reflect the needs of the market and echo the feedback we’ve received. Tamkeen’s programmes have shifted to become even more objective-based, and impact driven. We work with committed enterprises to build their capabilities and allow them to innovate, grow, transform, digitalise and become more productive, and potentially internationalise. The success and growth of the private sector helps boost the economy, a key objective for us as an organisation, therefore when our partners achieve their KPIs, we ensure that they have access to increased support.  

Entrepreneurship is the key driver of innovation and growth in any economy, making it a priority for Tamkeen to support the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Bahrain. We have always been committed to enabling the launch and growth of new business concepts and will continue to do that through several programmes targeted at both seasoned and budding entrepreneurs. Our programmes Start Your Business and Tech Disruptors were designed to help small businesses launch new ideas and disrupt the market. While our Global-Ready Entrepreneur programme paves the way for Bahrainis to access global knowledge, experience and opportunities that can accelerate their success. The energy and passion of youth are a powerful driver of innovation, that’s why we developed the Young Entrepreneur programme, tailored specifically for aspiring entrepreneurs, to allow them to explore new ventures, gain the most important entrepreneurial skills and turn their concepts into sustainable businesses.

Tamkeen Chairman and management meeting with Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI)

You announced that these programmes are aimed at developing high-potential sectors and creating job opportunities. How so?

We are continuing to support all sectors but are focussing on incentivising the high-potential sectors. Considering the rapidly changing economic climate and in alignment with national priorities, we are furthering sustainable economic development by further incentivising areas and industries that have greater potential for growth. For that purpose, we have identified high-potential sectors, which are aligned with the National Economic Recovery Plan, and which have the ability to transform our market. These sectors are underpinned by productivity, have export potential, offer sustainable quality employment opportunities, drive quality diversification and are dynamic. High potential sectors can also inject the job market with specialised job opportunities that offer attractive compensation and employment benefits, providing appealing career options for the national workforce and promoting innovation and growth mindsets.

Our programmes focus on productivity as it can increase competitiveness and profitability of businesses, allowing them to grow and expand both locally and internationally, and opening opportunities for franchising and exporting. Expansion, whether local or international, requires increased manpower and employment of talent to cater to the growing business demands therefore providing quality job opportunities for Bahrainis. Furthermore, we developed programmes that focus on technology and digital transformation because they go hand in hand with productivity and dynamism. We also designed a programme that focusses on research and technological development to empower the development and launch of innovative products that start in Bahrain and go global. This will help transform industries in Bahrain and create numerous opportunities for both companies and individuals.

Our Human Capital programmes were designed to support enterprises committed to the training and development of their human resources, as well as ambitious Bahrainis to up-skill and re-skill according to market demands ensuring their competitiveness both locally and internationally. Furthermore, we developed programmes that focus on job placement to support local talents enter the job market, as well as programmes that focus on career progression for Bahrainis with the purpose of enabling them to climb the career ladder to leadership positions in the organisations they work in, further enhancing their role in driving growth within these organisations.

What is your contribution in achieving and supporting sustainable growth in the Kingdom?

Tamkeen’s mission is to empower Bahrainis according to market requirements and to build enterprise capabilities to contribute to expanding the national economy. Simply put, everything we do serves to support sustainable economic growth in Bahrain. The new programmes we announced will help our customers — both enterprises and individuals — reach their maximum potential for growth, leading to a multiplier effect across the economy and further diversifying our non-oil sectors. With focus on high-potential sectors, technology and digital transformation, global knowledge, and expertise, we will enable the private sector to become the key driver of national economic growth. Additionally, as part of our strategic plan we are going to work closely with leading international companies seeking to expand in the region, and support them to establish their presence in Bahrain, which can drive further economic growth and create quality job opportunities for nationals.

What is your strategy to establish Bahrain as an innovation-driven economy?

We have a set of programmes that are specifically designed to drive innovation, starting with the Innovation Programme which incentivises companies to innovate and supports them through their innovation journey from research and development to prototyping, testing and launch. We will stimulate the growth of innovative digital startups and help them enhance their competitive edge, inspiring others to follow suit and creating a ripple effect that accelerates innovation in our ecosystem. Our entrepreneurship programmes also help foster an innovation-driven economy because an entrepreneurial mindset is at the heart of innovation.

In addition to that, we believe in the power of international expertise and experience, so we designed programmes (Global-Ready Talent, Global-Ready Entrepreneur) that allow Bahrainis to work with leading international companies and get access to accelerator and entrepreneurship programmes abroad to boost their competitiveness and bring new skills to the market.

What kind of tailored support are you providing to enterprises and to individuals?

All our new programmes are tailored to the requirements of our customers and the sectors they work in, and they offer holistic support spanning from funding to technical and advisory support. It’s important that companies benefit from the programmes that fit their business objectives and can accelerate their success, so we have a business development team that can offer specialised sector support to our customers throughout their growth and development journey.

We also introduced a transparent assessment model that is based on growth objectives and focussed on driving impact. And we complement it with incentives to ensure that our customers have access to more support when they achieve their KPIs, allowing them to succeed even further.

When it comes to human capital development, our new programmes address specific skill gaps and focus on achieving higher and more inclusive reach. We also offer incentives for quality jobs created as they can provide sustainable employment opportunities for nationals and help them achieve career growth.

What is your vision for Bahrain’s growth and development in the coming 5 years?

The economic landscape is always changing. This change comes with challenges and opportunities, and it’s crucial for us to continue our transformation and evolution to make the most of these opportunities. Our vision for Bahrain’s growth is aligned with the national economic recovery plan and fulfilling Tamkeen’s role within this plan, which focusses on the development of high potential sectors and the training and employment of Bahraini nationals. The high potential sectors we are focussing on are linked to those identified as part of the plan and we added more emerging sectors that show promise. We envision a future where these sectors are well-established in the kingdom and actively contributing to sustainable economic growth. We will also continue to identify emerging and promising sectors that align with the government priorities and find ways to support them and strengthen their expansion. This ongoing process to stay abreast of the latest trends and changes in the economic climate and adapt to them will strengthen Bahrain’s economy and enable us to deliver impactful programmes and initiatives continuously.

Furthermore, with the support of our programmes we are working towards a future where Bahraini talents are in quality job positions and leadership roles with sustainable career prospects, within key public and private sector organizations, where they can contribute to national economic growth. Our national workforce will become even more competitive, both locally and internationally, making them employees of choice and giving the Kingdom a bigger advantage in attracting investments that can drive further growth.  

For more information on Tamkeen and their programmes, visit their website.


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