Startups, technology hubs, and accelerators are blossoming across the MENA region. Even though the GCC has suffered through economic crises the past couple of years, one can’t deny that entrepreneurs and startups have helped quite a lot in refining and boosting the region’s economy. For instance, startups contribute in creating jobs, competitiveness, high productivity, economic growth and even more. Additionally, those startups contribute to the private-sector development and attract investors at the same time.
Amazon’s recent purchase of Souq.com is an example of how successful MENA based startups are. There’s also Careem who has vastly improved in the past five years. Moreover, Fawry, an Egyptian startup has created an electronic payment system that has eliminated the need to use cash. Nowadays more than 20 million Egyptians, that include small business owners, use Fawry and processes 1.5 million payments on a daily basis. And we can go on and on about successful startups in the MENA region.
Bahrain is also one of the countries that is on its way to becoming the regional tech hub through its investment in the Fintech industry, especially with its recent flexible regulations. Bahrain’s aims to support Fintechs and entrepreneurs in order to increase the growth of the sector. Investing in the Fintech sector will allow Bahrain to diversify its economy, drive growth and increase its productivity.
Jalal AlAali, Partner and Head of Financial Services at KPMG in Bahrain said: “There has been a significant push to promote Bahrain as a regional Fintech hub. Bahrain offers the right regulatory environment, extremely competitive operating costs, government support, funding support and a financial services sector that is ready to work with.”
Alternatively, the Bahraini Economic Development Board (EDB) has been playing a major role in supporting entrepreneurs and the startup scene in Bahrain. It has recently partnered up with fintech incubator and ecosystem builder Singapore Fintech Consortium (SFC) which will help in establishing a Fintech ecosystem, in addition to a regulatory framework.
According to a CNN report, Bahrain has also been considered as one of the promising countries for startups and entrepreneurs.
We don’t know about you, but we surely do anticipate how Bahrain will look like five to ten years from now.