Tamkeen’s Board of Directors held its first regular meeting of 2014 on Thursday, during which the Board reviewed the 2013 year-end management report and financial statements, as well as the progress of a number of key programmes.
In 2014, Tamkeen’s total expenditure on its support programmes for Bahrainis and private sector enterprises is expected to reach around BD 80 million, the highest it will ever spend on its support programmes.
The Board also reviewed the progress of the ongoing impact assessments and restructuring process of Tamkeen’s programmes currently being conducted, as part of the 2014 operational plan’s objectives of enhancing quality, being more customer-oriented, and achieving better results to serve the dynamic needs of the market.
Among the programmes discussed was the Enterprise Development Support programme, which has served 7,600 businesses since it was launched, with Tamkeen’s contribution exceeding BD 46.3 million as of December 2013.
The Enterprise Development Support programme consists of a number of support schemes, mainly “Istishara”, “Tarweej”, “Jawda”, “Techania” and “Tasweeq”. Of the businesses served by the programme in 2013, most were more than five years old, with 1,727 businesses receiving a contribution amount of BD 16.3 million. This was followed by businesses between 1-5 years old, which totalled to 1,272 businesses and a contribution amount of BD 10.2 million. Start-ups (less than one year old) came in at 696, with a contribution amount of BD 5.6 million.
In line with Tamkeen’s drive to enhance quality, be more customer-oriented, and achieving better results, the Board approved a decision to temporarily suspend the Enterprise Development Support programme until the restructuring process is completed. The suspension will be implemented as of Sunday 30th March 2014. During the interim period, the programme’s processes and procedures will be reviewed to make them more efficient and effective as per the outcomes of the public consultation sessions, as well as look into various control measures to prevent fraud and abuse.
In the meantime, the team will focus on processing the applications already in the pipeline, which total around 2,500 applications and customers will be contacted directly by Tamkeen. Tamkeen plans on resuming receiving applications for the programme in September 2014.
Commenting on the decision, Tamkeen Chairman and Acting Chief Executive Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa said, “Participants in the consultation sessions held around Tamkeen’s 2014 operational plan agreed that the Enterprise Development Support programme is a vital programme which offers various services with tangible positive impact on the performance of businesses in Bahrain.”
“At the same time, the participants also stressed the need to find sustainable solutions to expedite this process. This is precisely what we are going to focus on achieving,” Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa added.
In addition, the Board also reviewed the preparations for Tamkeen’s first public consultation forum for the year 2014, scheduled to be held next week on 31st March and 1st of April. The outcomes of the forum will be incorporated in Tamkeen’s overall strategy for 2015-2017.