Tamkeen scheme boost for Bahraini SMEs
Manama, July 3, 2013
More than 60 Bahraini businesses, 80 per cent of them small and medium enterprises (SMEs), have benefited from a new Tamkeen scheme.
The total financing portfolio for the labour fund authority under the just concluded pilot phase of the information and communication technology (ICT) finance scheme was BD1.4 million ($3.69 million).
"Enterprises benefiting from the ICT scheme have achieved wonderful results, with a success rate of more than 98 per cent in the implementation of acquired ICT technologies," acting vice-president for private sector support Mohammed Bucheery said yesterday during a ceremony for the beneficiaries.
"These modern solutions helped the beneficiaries achieve substantial improvements in many of their operational facets and optimise how they manage their resources," he added.
Tamkeen private sector support manager Dr Mohammed Ali Amin was also present at the ceremony.
Tamkeen, in partnership with three banks, provided low-cost financing solutions ranging from BD3,000 to BD50,000 to businesses enabling them to acquire advanced ICT systems.
The banks' profit on the financing, offered through Bahrain Development Bank (BDB), BMI Bank, and Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB), was fully paid by Tamkeen on behalf of the enterprises.
As an added incentive, Tamkeen's support under this scheme also included repaying the enterprises up to 25pc of the principal amount if the enterprises repay the financing within the specified period, which ranges from one to five years.
The scheme was launched in February 2011 following market studies which showed that enterprises in Bahrain needed finance solutions to procure sophisticated ICT systems which enhance their competitiveness and efficiency.
Following the success of the scheme, and in line with its efforts to make its programmes more flexible and accessible, Tamkeen merged the ICT finance scheme with 'Techania', one of the schemes under its flagship Enterprise Development Support programme.
The event was attended by senior Tamkeen officials, owners of the benefiting enterprises, BDB Bank and BMI bank, which partnered with Tamkeen to finance the scheme, and members of the Bahrain SMEs Society.
Certificates of appreciation were presented to the enterprises which successfully implemented the ICT solutions they obtained through the programme, which represent a broad cross-section of sectors, including construction, retail, education and training, media, manufacturing, and more.
A number of businesses - Installux, Alpha Fire Services, and Al Rashid Al Amin Company - also presented to the audience their success stories through the programme. More than 77,000 Bahrainis and Bahraini enterprises have benefited from Tamkeen programmes to date, with the figure expected to rise to 150,000 in the near future.-TradeArabia News Service