Stimulating the spirit of entrepreneurship among Bahraini youth

With the aim of nourishing a generation of high-school students in Bahrain with entrepreneurship, the Ministry of Education along with Bahrain Development Bank group (BDB) established a joint program called “Takween”.  Takween began in 2010 providing a group of 33 students selected from the Ministry of Education GSVEC Advanced program to spend a week at the Bahrain Business Incubator Center and learn about entrepreneurship. The program focused on developing highschool students to think about the possibility of starting up their own business after completing their higher education.    

The first batch in 2010 catered only to commercial stream students receiving positive feedback and results.  The program is now running its 5th Batch training 600 students from both technical and commercial stream school.   The impact felt with this program was seen automatically with the response from both students and their teachers and was spread across a number of schools across the island.

Takween program began at first with a sole focus on general entrepreneurial needs, training students on generating creative business ideas, planning their business, and the basics of marketing and accounting. Over the years, the BDB and the Ministry of Education have assessed student requirements along with global trends in the market and have continuously evolved the program to meet new needs.  One of the most important evolutions in Takween was transforming the program week into an interactive classroom setting including activities, games, and allowing students to guide their learning.  The BDB’s Advisory team who conduct the program have also introduced coaching techniques in the current cycle to focus more on empowering students with tools required for entrepreneurship.  The program highlights individuals who will become future entrepreneurs and those who will be working for those entrepreneurs.  Currently Takween hosts two different agendas, one more relevant for technical school students who are not exposed to any business subjects in their curriculum and the second which is more suitable for commercial students that already are taught business related topics.

The program runs over the course of 5 days, with a different focus/topic each day. The first day starts as an introduction with the objective of inspiring the students to start their own business and how to generate creative business ideas. Students are divided into groups from the first day and will work together to produce a business idea presentation pitch by the last day. The rest of week provides presentations on marketing, accounting, creativity, problem solving, presentation skills, and activities on how to pitching your business idea in preparation for the last day.On the last day the groups present in front of a panel of judges chosen from BDB Advisory team selecting best business concept, best presentation skills, best teamwork, and most innovative concept.

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Takween has demonstrated the importance of having such awareness and capacity building programs available for youth on entrepreneurship.  Takween has highlighted many hidden talents in highschools around the island who have learned from this short period all the necessary tools on how to start your business in Bahrain from knowledge, processes, support institutions, financing tools, and most importantly – how to get an investor’s attention while pitching your idea.  BDB and the Ministry of Education will complete their 5th batch in May with an award ceremony set at that time.  The Takween team looks forward to next batches to train and develop future young entrepreneurs of Bahrain.

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