Tamkeen-BDB scheme hits new milestone
Manama, June 21, 2012
Tamkeen, Bahrain's labour fund, and Bahrain Development Bank's (BDB) Enterprise Finance Scheme has reached a significant milestone, having served more than 1,000 start-up enterprises with a portfolio amounting to BD17.8 million ($47.2 million).
The beneficiary enterprises represent a cross-section of sectors and industries in Bahrain, with the majority coming from the trading, services, restaurants and coffee shops, foods and packaging and education sectors.
About a third of them were businesswomen.
The scheme offers Sharia-compliant financing solutions to start-ups at an affordable cost. Tamkeen subsidises 50 per cent of the annual profit rate on the reducing balance.
BDB is amongst a handful of lending institutions in the country that finances start-ups that partnered with Tamkeen to bridge the finance gap.
According to an impact assessment study conducted by leading advisory firm Dun and Bradstreet, the criticality of low-cost funding for start-ups is high in a scenario where start-ups find it difficult to avail financing from regular commercial banks for setting up their operations.
Because of potential risks, banks usually refrain from offering loans to start-ups.
The finance amount ranges from BD5,000 to BD500,000 with an option of a long repayment tenure of up to 10 years and a grace period of one month to two years as per the partner bank's discretion.
"We are satisfied with the level of response received from Bahraini entrepreneurs wanting to develop their businesses and put them on fast-track towards a more prosperous future," said Tamkeen chief executive Mahmood Al Kooheji.
"This 1,000 beneficiaries milestone is a testament to the effectiveness of this leading scheme in meeting needs of the private sector. The scheme is making an important contribution to economic prosperity," Al Kooheji added.
"Our strong, serious and strategic partnership with Tamkeen seeks to design customised administrative and financing solutions that can help the youth manage successful enterprises capable of adapting to market requirements and achieving sustainability," said BDB chief executive Nedal Al Aujan.
"Small and medium enterprises now constitute the backbone of the national economy in many countries, creating more and more job opportunities.
"Although our joint programme managed to reach more than 1,000 beneficiaries, we seek to attract more young entrepreneurs with vision, creative thinking and technical and interactive skills because we need a new culture of free business and self-reliance," he added.
One of the projects to benefit from the scheme was the Mobile Spa, the first mobile beauty services in Bahrain set up by Deena Al Ansari and Suha Sawan.
It offers services to customers in their homes and caters for special functions, corporate events and different occasions. It also offers massage, cleaning, manicure, wax and other services.
It also offers fast equipment delivery services to homes and provides best quality, disposable health supplementary products and sterilisation of instruments used in these services.
"The finance and advisory support from Tamkeen and BDB helped us achieve our objectives," said Al Ansari.
"I would like to stress that entrepreneurs also need to have strong will, creative ideas and willingness to work hard so that they can fulfil their ambitions," she added. – TradeArabia News Services