Tenmou is an enterprise dedicated to Bahraini entrepreneurs. An organization created by private Bahraini investors who are passionate about business and who are also successful entrepreneurs in their own right. Startup MGZN interviewed Hasan Haider, CEO of Tenmou who shared with us how new startups can leverage Tenmou services to get started.
Mr. Hasan, Can you take us on the journey of setting up Tenmou?
The idea of Tenmou started after I personally struggled with my first business. Along the way, I was introduced to Mr. Sami Jalal who offered me great advice and helped in putting things back on track. Since then, we started thinking of ways to support Bahraini entrepreneurs in overcoming the common business challenges and help them succeed. We did a lot of research on different models and finally decided to setup Tenmou, Bahrain’s first angel investment company.
What are Tenmou’s key drivers?
Tenmou is looking to support high potential, innovative Bahraini entrepreneurs, as we believe this will have an immense contribution to Bahrain’s economy.
How does the overall model for angel investing work?
Angel investors tend to take the highest level of risk when investing in
companies. An angel investor typically invests a minor stake in a business, provide advice and assistance to see that business succeed and grow in value. Eventually, when the business is more valuable, the investors make a return when they sell their share to another party. However, the majority of the new investments and businesses are expected to fail.
How can an interested entrepreneur apply for Tenmou?
The application process is quite straightforward, starting with an online application form on our website at www.tenmou.me. Next is the pre-screen interview, the Advisory Committee shortlisting and then the final selection by the Selection Committee.
What qualities do you look for in entrepreneurs you decide to invest in?
We look for high-potential people with a great deal of passion and belief in their project, but who are also willing to take advice on board to improve themselves.
Other than the team behind the project, we look for unique ideas that don›t currently exist in Bahrain, but have the potential to grow outside Bahrain to the rest of the region.
What’s the size of investment for each company?
We invest on average BD20,000 per company. That is usually enough for projects to get started.
Beside financial investment, what other services does Tenmou provide for its entrepreneurs?
We provide a great deal of support. We have mentorship programs that allow the entrepreneurs to get specific advice from our partners in the foundations of business, including accounting, finance, marketing support and more. In addition, our investors kindly give their time to talk to the entrepreneurs about their own personal stories and any assistance they can provide to the startups. It is this advice, mentorship, and networking that is actually worth more than the financial investment itself.
What type of companies do you look to invest in?
We always look for unique ideas with a good potential for growth, in any sector.
To what extent do you engage in the decision making for a company you invest in?
The companies are run by the entrepreneurs themselves. We have a board representation and have input on the direction and planning of the company. We are always there to assist and support, but not to run the business. That is the entrepreneur›s responsibility.
How do you evaluate the overall startup ecosystem in Bahrain?
There is a great deal of support available in the startup ecosystem here; from training programs Tamkeen’s grants and more.
What are the key areas of development for Bahrain in this space?
There needs to be a greater deal of support for the development of the equity funding ecosystem; from more angel investors to Venture Capital, to a stock market that would enable some of these start-ups to eventually IPO.
In addition, more focus needs to be given to the difference between SMEs and Startups, as SMEs start small and tend to stay small, whereas startups have more innovation and potential to grow.
What’s your advice to new startups and entrepreneurs?
Just get started. An idea is worthless, without the right execution behind it. So if you have an idea and you really believe in it, start working on it and get it started. Also, be very careful with your cash flow; make sure you don’t spend unnecessarily. If you don’t know whether or not something is necessary, ask a mentor.