Mohammed Bucheery, Tamkeen’s Private Sector Support Senior Manager
Tamkeen - Enterprise Development Support Programme (EDS) saw significant growth exceeding its set target over the period Feb – Sep 2012. The flagship Programme, which seeks to foster the efficiency and business sustainability of Bahrain-based enterprises, comes as part of Tamkeen’s efforts to deliver accessible business support services to the Private Sector in Bahrain.
Tamkeen has announced earlier this year that it has set a target to serve an additional 2,500 more business owners through the next Phase of the Enterprise Development Support Programme with a total budget of around 51 million dinars allocated to the programme during that span.
The Programme’s initial target was to provide support to around 850 business enterprises over the period Feb 2012- Feb 2013. However, the surge in demand to the Programme has spurred this figure to over 1500 business enterprises during Feb- Sep 2012 following a series of enhancements to the Enterprise Development. The Tamkeen - Enterprise Development Support Agency staff, run by KPMG Fakhro have increased three – fold to cater to the increasing demand to the Programme. This is complimented with the dedicated call centre line inaugurated earlier this year.
Since Feb 2012, around 4449 business enterprises attended the Orientation Sessions organized daily in the Enterprise Development Support Agency Premises in the Seef District. Over 3425 applications to the Programme’s various Schemes have been received by Tamkeen- Enterprise Development Support Agency The number of contracts signed by business enterprises so far is estimated to be over 1500 across the five business schemes as follows: Istishara 42 contracts, Jawda 27 contract , Tarweej 395 contract, Tasweeq 328 contracts and Techania 759 contracts.
The Programme witnessed large demand by business enterprises in vital economic sectors such as wholesale, retail, manufacturing and construction. Start up business constitute around 29% of the total number of business enterprises enrolled into the Enterprise Development Support Programme, whereas businesses between the age of 2 to 5 years comprise 28% percent of the total number of applications. Demand on the Programme was high by business enterprises in vital economic sectors such as wholesale and retail 29%, manufacturing 9% and construction 15%.
A number of beneficiaries and service providers have expressed their satisfaction with the Programme through the different consulting and support services it offers. Reflecting on his experience with the Enterprise Development Support Programme Managing Director of Big Deal, Mr. Salman Matter, said “Big Deal is a unique digital concept that’s formed thorough a group buying website that posts the best discounted deals on Bahrain's favorite outlets and covers a range of different products and services. To increase effectiveness and awareness, we have enrolled for the EDSA’s Tasweeq and Techania Schemes. We believe that with the help of Tamkeen we would be able to generate the buzz and reach needed to make such service successful. I think Tamkeen's Scheme is very helpful for all start-ups, small businesses, and even larger organisations, and in a challenging economy, I think the timing is just perfect for such initiatives”.
Abdulla Taqi, Executive Director of Pro-Vision Events, an enlisted Tamkeen Service provider: “We consider Tamkeen’s Schemes a real fuel for Business Enterprises to quick start their race to excel. We are privileged to be part of this venture as a service provider. Tamkeen- EDSA team has always shown their highest level of cooperation, professionally and technically, in all the projects allotted to us so far.”
Tamkeen’s Private Sector Support Senior Manager, Mohammed Bucheery said “The success of the Programme reflects Tamkeen’s efforts to extend significant support to Bahrain’s Private Sector Organizations and a reinforcement of Tamkeen’s position as key driver of economic development,” says Mr. Bucheery. “The Schemes support all private sector Bahraini Enterprises to increase their efficiency, enhance business competiveness and raise the standards of their corporate performance. Tamkeen contributes 80% of the associated costs up to a maximum of BD. 15,000 for small enterprises and BD. 20,000 for medium and large enterprises” says Mr. Bucheery.
The six Schemes encompassed under the Enterprise Development Support Programme include: Business Development Scheme (Istishara) to enable business owners to better run their business by making informed business decisions for enhanced productivity and long-term sustainability, Quality Management Scheme Jawda to enable business owners to implement world-class quality management systems to improve products and services offered, Technical Assistance Scheme (Techania) to enable business owners to invest in modern equipment to reduce operational costs and improve productivity, Growth Assistance Scheme (Tarweej) to enable enterprises to increase their visibility through participation in local and international trade fairs and exhibitions and Marketing Assistance Scheme (Tasweeq) to enable business owners to create professional marketing and communication strategies to grow the business and the Large Enterprises Scheme (LES) to allows Large Enterprises to acquire industrial machinery and technology.
Over 60 approved service providers are on hand to provide high- quality professional consultation services to Bahraini Business enterprises through these Schemes.