BD54m Tamkeen support for 16,000 businesses

MANAMA: Tamkeen has provided more than BD54 million as financial support to over 16,000 businesses most affected by the Covid-19 crisis, it has emerged.

This was revealed by the labour fund authority’s chairman Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa during a virtual consultation forum on future strategies.

Shaikh Mohammed said, “Support was provided through the Business Continuity Support programme designed to enable them to continue their operations."

A large number of small and micro-enterprises were the beneficiaries of the scheme, which included payment of a part of monthly expenses so they could continue operating and pay the salaries of employees during the pandemic.

During the initial phases, businesses with fewer than 50 employees and annual revenue of not more than BD1 million were eligible for the support.

As of end-July, more than 900 individuals including taxi drivers, public transport and bus drivers, driving instructors, and kindergarten and nursery workers had been supported by Tamkeen, which then announced a doubling of assistance and the extension of the scheme for another three months.

The largest chunk of finance went to sports clubs, gymnasia, beauty salons, restaurants and cafes, training institutes and travel and tourism offices.

During the forum, the chairman said Tamkeen’s new strategy for the next five years (2021-2026) was shaped to a great extent by the economic repercussions of the Coronavirus pandemic.

He said the restructuring of the current methodologies came in response to market changes and would support greater technology adoption in enterprises to make them more efficient and sustainable.

Shaikh Mohammed said the forum was an opportunity for stakeholders to share their feedback and suggestions about Tamkeen’s programmes, so as to enhance their outcomes.

The authority’s chief executive Dr Ebrahim Janahi said: “The next stage is a continuation of what we have already started with our strategies. The most important element of this strategy is to focus on transforming the methodologies within businesses – an element which has proved its importance after the pandemic outbreak, and the upcoming strategy is focusing on just that. The coming strategy will help businesses achieve their greatest efficiency while being sustainable and cost-effective.”

Dr Janahi added that the new strategy, themed transformation, will be based on achieving such changes with a greater focus on supporting start-ups, improving the efficiency of programmes and expanding the financial schemes.

The strategy seeks to create high-level job opportunities, tap new financial resources, and generate innovative business ideas to combat economic challenges.

According to the chief executive of Tamkeen, the strategy will also focus on digital transformation to ensure flexibility and sustainability within the workforce and training tailored to the needs of each segment.

The forum concluded with the recommendation that programmes need to dynamically react to the needs of the market, while enhancing the professional and creative skills of employees, in line with the post-pandemic business environment.

Tamkeen’s programmes will also aim to support enterprises that are able to expand globally or are technology-driven.

More than 400 people participated in the forum.




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