Major push to support SMEs

MANAMA: A major initiative, “Bahrain’s Traders”, has been launched to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The scheme is the result of a tripartite co-operation between Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), the Labour Fund (Tamkeen) and Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF).

Tamkeen chief executive Dr Ebrahim Janahi, BIBF director-general Dr Ahmed Al Shaikh and BCCI vice CEO Dr Abdulla Badr Al Sada signed the agreement.

The signing ceremony was attended by BCCI chairman Sameer Abdulla Nass, second deputy chairman Mohammed Abduljabbar and vice treasurer and executive bureau member Walid Ibrahim Kanoo.

The platform aims to tackle obstacles and provide support to SMEs which make up around 96 per cent of the overall number of business establishments in Bahrain.

The programme which is supported by strategic partner Tamkeen, as well as BIBF, will provide training to Bahrainis to hone their skills to better adapt to the needs of the ever-changing labour market, help them launch their businesses and enhance their employability.

The scheme provides basic skills needed for small and medium-sized business owners who want to start their own businesses, by trying to reduce the risks that they may face in the beginning of their projects and discuss all aspects of commercial operations to develop their projects.

Mr Nass stressed the importance of the “Bahrain Traders” scheme, which will benefit young entrepreneurs and traders to help them develop their projects and ensure the sustainability of their businesses, in addition to improving the overall entrepreneurship environment.

“Training solutions will be provided to bolster Bahrain’s role as a regional SMEs centre,” he said.

Dr Janahi said that Tamkeen would continue its pivotal role in supporting Bahrainis, enhancing their employability which would bolster the role of the private sector to serve as the main driving engine for the national economy.

“Training, financial and consultancy support will be provided for young entrepreneurs to set up their projects and develop them.”

Citing fresh figures, he said that Tamkeen had provided since its establishment support to more than 4,400 Bahraini employees, ensured the training of over 30 per cent of the national workforce in the private sector and contributed to enhance the qualifications of more than 15,000 others.

“Tamkeen has supported more than 110,000 Bahrainis through 145 initiatives since its inception,” said Dr Janahi.

Dr Al Shaikh said that the programme would make private companies and establishments more competitive, benefiting from the BIBF’s business expertise.


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