$100m fund launched in Bahrain to help SMEs growth

Bahrain SME Fund will target SMEs in consumer, industrial, ICT, education and healthcare sectors

A $100 million fund has been launched in Bahrain to invest in the country's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The initiative has been unveiled by the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector arm of IDB Group, in partnership with Ibdar Bank, and Labour Fund Tamkeen.

The Bahrain SME Fund is a Shariah compliant mezzanine private equity fund which will target SMEs with high growth potential in consumer, industrial, ICT, education and healthcare sectors, a statement said.

It added that 90 percent of Bahrain enterprises are SMEs and their contribution accounts for about 30% of the kingdom’s GDP.

Dr Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi, CEO of Tamkeen, said: “Through this partnership we aim to provide further support to enterprises in the kingdom to achieve their highest potentials.”

Khalid Al Aboudi, CEO of the ICD, added: “SME support is at  the centre of ICD’s strategy as we seek to develop the private sector as a vehicle for economic and social growth, and facilitate further prosperity in Islamic countries.”

Ahmed Al-Rayes, chief investment officer of Ibdar Bank said: “SMEs are the main drivers for growth and economic diversification and the backbone of any successful and sustainable economy and contribute significantly to the development and growth of efficiency, particularly to innovation, job generation, and international competitiveness.

"The creation of this fund is aligned with the Bank’s mission to support Bahrain’s economic diversification through private sector growth which will spur innovation and job creation.”

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