As part of its commitment to supporting the private sector in the kingdom, Tamkeen today marks Bahrain Women's Day. Celebrated on 1 December every year, this special national event sheds light on Bahraini women's contribution to national development in all sectors and at all levels.
During celebrations marking this occasion, Tamkeen will highlight its initiatives to empower Bahraini women and the economic objectives achieved in 2012, noting that about 47% of the total beneficiaries from Tamkeen programmes are women. Tamkeen's winning of HRH Princess Sabeeka Award for Women’s Empowerment is testament to the organisation's contribution to the development of women in Bahrain.
"Bahraini women are an integral part of the national economy’s strength and an essential part of the effort to develop it," said Tamkeen Chief Executive Officer Mahmood Hashem Al Kooheji. "All developed countries have created programmes and policies to enhance women's contribution, and Tamkeen takes pride in this role as it seeks to economically empower women and enable them to achieve their potential."
Al Kooheji added: "On behalf of Tamkeen's entire family, I congratulate Bahraini women on their successes and valuable contributions to the society. I also invite them to benefit from Tamkeen’s programmes which cater to both individuals and enterprises."
In addition to its general support programmes, Tamkeen also creates dedicated programmes which target women specifically. These include the Women Entrepreneurs Support programme which was launched in partnership with the Supreme Council for Women to improve women productivity and create the appropriate working environment for them. The programme offers women grants to establish their own businesses in the sectors of transportation, fashion design, and photography, and provides special training to enhance women's competencies and help women become more self-reliant and advance their careers. More than 100 Bahraini women entrepreneurs benefited from this programme.
Collaboration between Tamkeen, the Supreme Council for Women, and Ebdaa Bank also resulted in creating a women entrepreneurship support programme that provides accessible loans to encourage Bahraini women to set up their own businesses. More than 95 businesswomen have benefited from this programme, with total support exceeding BD620,000.
Furthermore, Tamkeen conducted a presentation attended by 150 Bahraini businesswomen during the Bahraini Businesswomen Society's celebration of its 12th anniversary in June. In it, Tamkeen introduced the various programmes it offers to support the private sector and women in particular.
Tamkeen also enabled Bahraini women entrepreneurs to be a major force on the international business scene. Through its "Tarweej" programme, Tamkeen supported the participation of hundreds of women entrepreneurs in various local and regional exhibitions, like "Heya" exhibition in Qatar, as well as Al-Dana, Abaya, and Layali Ramadan exhibitions, among others.
Another facility offered to Bahrain women is the Bahrain Business Incubator Centre - which Tamkeen provides in cooperation with the Bahrain Development Bank - from which 15 businesswomen have so far benefited. The programme provides 40 incubators for women businesses for a period of two years as well as the necessary resources and services to develop their start-up businesses, enabling innovation and entrepreneurship among promising businesswomen.
Looking ahead, Tamkeen set up a special Women Empowerment Committee to oversee the implementation of its women empowerment programmes and maximise the value of its upcoming plans and initiatives for women. These initiatives include more training programmes designed to strengthen women entrepreneurship, and enable working women and job seekers.