Project to empower women financially

A PROJECT to empower women financially and make them independent by helping them sharpen their entrepreneurial skills has been launched in Bahrain.

The ‘Micro-finance and Economic Independence Programme’ is a joint venture of the National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) and Shamsaha, the only existing women’s crisis advocacy response programme in the Middle East.

According to the project partners, the two-phase programme over a one-year period will focus on product development and training followed by business and entrepreneurship support for women.

Six women, who are clients of Shamsaha, will be selected every month to be part of the project and will receive training in designing, producing and selling various types of handicrafts, arts and other products.

The chosen women will receive micro-loans to cover the costs of raw materials, transportation, marketing and sales, as well as small business and entrepreneurship training.

“The project is part of Shamsaha’s mandate to support female empowerment and development in Bahrain and aims to help women gain economic independence, professional empowerment and entrepreneurial skills,” said Shamsaha founder and executive director Mary-Justin Todd, noting that it was made possible by the support of NBB which is sponsoring the first edition of the project.

“On behalf of everyone at Shamsaha and the women selected for this project, I want to express our most sincere gratitude to the NBB for placing their support and faith in us and this project.

“With this project, we want to build and strengthen the skills and experience of the many talented women in Bahrain, nurturing and supporting them to grow into their most empowered and successful selves.

“The women selected for this project will gain skills, confidence, business experience, and they will start to generate an income – some of them for the very first time.”

Shamsaha will also promote and sell the products on its online platforms and with its retail and training partners including Ashrafs, Mosaic House, Studio Ceramic and Vogue.

Meanwhile, NBB compensation and benefits head Shafi Al Mannai who expressed delight at partnering with Shamsaha, emphasised the bank’s aim of becoming an effective enabler in empowering women in the workplace and the community.


Mr Al Mannai


“Hence, the bank was delighted to partner with the Shamsaha initiative to assist in providing a suitable environment for women to help them gain professional empowerment, financial independence and entrepreneurial skills,” he said.

“Furthermore, our partnership with the Shamsaha project also aims to strengthen the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector by providing opportunities to participants and further develop their contribution to the kingdom’s business growth, and to ensure their readiness for potential challenges in the workplace.”

Shamsaha, Arabic for “Her Sun” (from where she derives her power and potential), was founded in Bahrain in 2016 as a non-profit corporation focusing on women’s empowerment and protection.

It is the Middle East’s first and only domestic and sexual violence crisis programme and provides 24/7 free and confidential crisis care for women in search of empowerment, independence and safety.




Share this page Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Linkedin

Discover the 'Made in France à Bahrain' Guide

'Made in France à Bahrain' - Edition 2021
is YOUR guide to the economic presence in Bahrain. Click here to view the online guide