Bahraini Entrepreneurs' Participation At Gulf Industry Attracts Much Attention
Twelve Bahraini entrepreneurs - representing small- and medium-size enterprises supported by Tamkeen's Enterprise Development Support program (EDS) - showcased their businesses at the Gulf Industry exhibition, which opened at Bahrain International Convention Center this morning. Exhibiting their businesses - including state of the art machinery they have bought through the programs - from Tamkeen's pavilion, the enterprises were given the chance to be on a level playing field with larger companies at the event, and have exposure to new promotional and investment opportunities.
The Growth Assistance Scheme, one of the schemes under Tamkeen's EDS program, is aimed at promoting the performance of Bahraini enterprises to make them more productive, efficient, and competitive in line with the objectives of Bahrain's 2030 Economic Vision. The scheme particularly supports the participation of enterprises in local, regional, and international exhibitions. Under the scheme, Tamkeen contributes up to 80 per cent of the costs of registration and stalls, depending on the nature of the exhibitions in which the enterprises want to participate.
Gulf Industry, in which a plethora of regional and international companies took part, attracted visitors from all GCC countries, and Tamkeen’s participants voiced gratitude for their constant support for the SME sector. They also expressed their admiration for the accessibility of Tamkeen's EDS program, which has enabled them to promote their products and services not only on the Bahraini market but also to wider GCC economies.
Aqeel Khamis, owner of Integrated Water Systems, one of the companies that participated in the exhibition and benefited from the Growth Assistance Scheme, commented on his second participation within the scheme: "The scheme had a positive impact on our company. After last year’s experience, we saw an increase in our sales and productivity. Participation in such exhibitions has helped us seize investment opportunities outside Bahrain. We hope our participation in Gulf Industry this year will help us make similar gains."
Khamis noted the ease with which the procedure for registering in the program was followed. "The application for participation in the program was extremely smooth. The conditions were easy to meet and the application did not take more that a few minutes to complete. Registration forms were available on the internet, and that greatly facilitated and accelerated the process."
Mohammed Ahmed, owner of Al Shura Systems, commented on the first participation for his company: "I was encouraged by the financial support that Tamkeen offers for participation in exhibitions. We had the opportunity to reach potential customers from among both the visitors and the other participants in the exhibition. We certainly benefit from participation, as it enables us to introduce our company to new customers. Our participation in this year's Gulf Industry will be a quantum leap in our operations, as I expect our productivity in 2010 to exceed our that of the past three years. On this occasion I would like to express gratitude for Tamkeen's innovative and easily accessible programs, which help Bahraini businesses grow and prosper."
Sayid Hashim, owner of Al Nur Company for mechanical services, said: "I am optimistic about our first participation. I expect our sales to increase by no less than 50 per cent. Thanks to Tamkeen, this participation will enable us to freely reach out to corporate decision-makers and introduce our company and products to them. In the past we depended only on our contacts and used no promotional channels. Thanks to Tamkeen, we will be able to expand our markets. We hope this support will continue."
Tamkeen’s Private Sector Support Senior Manager Mohammed Bucheery, was present at the exhibition and commented: "We are proud at the sense of satisfaction and optimism prevailing among the participants in the Gulf Industry exhibition through Tamkeen's Growth Assistance Scheme, in both first timers and long-standing beneficiaries. This proves the success and efficiency of this scheme in particular, and of the EDS program in general in boosting the efficiency and productivity of the Bahraini enterprises and pushing them along the road of growth and development."
The EDS, Tamkeen's flagship program, is aimed at stimulating the growth of the private sector through support for the business community. Schemes under the Program include: The Business Development Scheme, the Technical Assistance Scheme, the Quality Management Systems Scheme, and the Growth Assistance Scheme. In its first 2-yaer phase, 1135 organisations benefitted from the program, and a further 1000 are to be assisted by the EDS Agency, which KPMG Fakhro has recently been appointed to manage. The agency now has dedicated premises in Seef area to facilitate the application process.