By Staff writer
Bahrain fosters new opportunities for local entrepreneurs.
Bahrain has established a US$100mn fund to boost women-led businesses in the kingdom, it was announced on Tuesday.
The Bahraini Women Development Portfolio Fund – worth a total of $100 million – has been jointly set up by the Supreme Council of Women (SCW), Tamkeen, a semi-government organisation offering educational programmes to entrepreneurs, and the Bahrain Development Bank (BDB).
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was inked on Tuesday by Hala Al Ansari, secretary general at SCW, Dr. Ebrahim Janahi, CEO at Tamkeen, and Nidal Al Aujan, CEO at BDB.
Al Ansari said that the fund, known as “Riyadat”, aimed at encouraging women to launch their own commercial start-ups or develop existing ones by providing a number of concessions including financial support, training and advice.
Al Aujan added that BDB would provide Bahraini women entrepreneurs with Sharia-compliant easy-term financing to encourage them to invest in new economic and commercial activities or to develop existing activities and projects.
On Monday, Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa awarded the kingdom’s best entrepreneurs at the annual Bahrain Award for Entrepreneurship, which was initiated last year under the patronage of HH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Chairman of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (the EDB), to annually recognise the country’s business leaders.
“Bahrain identified economic diversification as a key driver of growth and employment opportunities over a decade ago, and this recognition laid the groundwork for a new phase of economic reforms that prioritised the role of the private sector in driving economic growth and providing entrepreneurial opportunities,” Prince Salman said, according to Gulf News Bahrain.
According to the World Bank’s 2016 Doing Business report, released in late October 2015, Bahrain ranks second in the GCC region and 65th globally out of 189 economies for ease of doing business.
The report reveals that globally Bahrain is ranked ninth for the ease of dealing with construction permits, eighth for the ease of paying taxes, and 25th for the ease of registering a property. In terms of trade across borders, Bahrain is ranked 85th worldwide, and second in the GCC.