Tamkeen initiative helps 6,000 firms
Manama, June 6, 2013
Bahrain’s labour fund Tamkeen’s flagship Enterprise Development Support Programme has served over 6,000 private sector enterprises since its launch, a top official said.
Tamkeen’s total contribution to the enterprises served through the programme’s various business support schemes to date has reached BD 33 million ($87 million).
To accommodate the sharp increase in demand from business owners seeking to benefit from the programme, Tamkeen allocated additional resources to the programme. Initially planned to serve 2,500 enterprises from 2012 to 2014 as per the operational plan, the Enterprise Development Support Programme has successfully served 3,500 enterprises since the beginning of 2012 to June 2013 alone.
Around 59 per cent of the enterprises served are start-ups and developing SMEs which have been in operation five years or less, with enterprises owned by businesswomen making up around one-third (31 per cent) of the total.
Sector-wise, the Wholesale and Retail Trade sector constituted 31 per cent of the total benefiting enterprises, followed by Construction (15 per cent), Manufacturing (9 per cent), and Food Services and Accommodation sectors (9 per cent).
Tamkeen’s acting vice president for Private Sector Support Mohammed Bucheery said “Tamkeen’s Enterprise Development Support programme provides strategic business support services that make enterprises, particularly SME’s, more sustainable and fuel future economic growth.
“Our ongoing engagement with the business community in Bahrain has been invaluable in ensuring that the programmes Tamkeen provides match the market needs, and we look forward to continuing this relationship moving forward.”
Tamkeen has taken steps to make the programme more accessible and flexible based on feedback received from business owners in Bahrain and Tamkeen-commissioned impact studies conducted by independent parties.
The modifications include expanding staff and offices of the Enterprise Development Support Agency, introducing a dedicated toll-free call centre line and allowing enterprises the flexibility to choose their own service provider.
Most recently, Tamkeen introduced the Legal Services Support Scheme in April under the Enterprise Development Support umbrella to enable business owners to access a wide range of legal support services. Also in April, Tamkeen announced that the “Techania” scheme will also cover ICT solutions.
The Enterprise Development Support Programme currently consists of “Istishara” to assist in the strategic planning, “Techania” to support the purchase of enterprise-related tools and equipment, “Jawda” to assist in the design and application of world-class quality standards, “Tasweeq” to support the design and implementation of effective marketing and communications strategies, “Tarweej”, to enable businesses to participate in local and international events, the Large Enterprises Support Scheme to enable large enterprises acquire industrial machinery and technology, and the Legal Services Support Scheme.
For each of the Enterprise Development Support Programme schemes, Tamkeen contributes 80 per cent of the associated costs up to a maximum of BD15,000 for small enterprises and BD 20,000 for medium and large enterprises. – TradeArabia News Service