What should Tamkeen focus on while revising their Enterprise Support programs?

Ahmed AlSawafiri, Founder, Startup MGZN

Entrepreneurs and Business men/women coming from all different sectors and backgrounds will always have diverse demands, and in many cases their own demands conflict with one another. While it’s extremely important for Tamkeen to address all the challenges faced by their customers and to enhance their overall operational capabilities, I think their strategic decisions and plans should be centralized around the realization of Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030. This is possible by channeling the support programs to businesses/sectors which will provide the highest value-add to the economy. A ‘one size fit all’ is definitely not a solution!

Ehsan Al-Kooheji, General Manager, Kooheji Systems

I think Tamkeen should urgently introduce interim programs to fill the gap created by suspending the previous support schemes.

The suspension was both unexpected and abruptly announced, thus causing many businesses who had stakes based on the support to unexpectedly halt their plans. A focused interim support programs can be introduced with  a smaller scale and budget for special cases, such as startups with mission critical requirements, or businesses which have a time sensitive marketing requirements.

In any case, the programs should not have been suspended, as any change could have been introduced via a seamless transition after it is decided.

Eyad Ebrahim, Director, Web Avenue

I think tamkeen should allow for more flexibility and channeling of the grants. Rigidity strangles innovation, and stakeholders better know how to improve and grow their ventures.

Another area is shortening to process and implementing and online application and followup system, the current setup is needlessly time consuming.

I’d like to see more emphasis on the creation of added value jobs and the employment of skilled staff.

Leena Al Olaimy, Co-founder & Managing Director, 3BL Associates

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As someone who believes in the power of business to meets pressing social and environmental needs at scale through financially viable models, I believe this is an area Tamkeen should integrate into their strategy. What could be better than catalyzing a wave of enterprises that contribute to Bahrain (and the region’s) economic, social and environmental sustainability?

Cut the red tape and laborious procedures its well-intentioned support schemes entail. Time is money and is the most scarce resource a startup has.

Focus support more heavily on startup growth and expansion to regional and international markets i.e. entrepreneurs with the potential to bring money into the economy versus draining government resources.

Wafa AlObaidat, Creative Director, Obai & Hill

The schemes should be more start up friendly and more geared towards supporting the underdog or innovative ideas that need research and support rather than corporations who make millions in profits each year but benefit anyways because they have a CR. I also encourage keeping and retaining the employment schemes where companies are rewarded and encouraged to hire more local Bahraini’s and to invest in training at the same time. I also hope that Tamkeen invest in a scheme that allocates funding to support innovation, tech start ups, and art and media industries. We need to locate more resources to aid in the growth of certain industries so we can start to compete with our neighbouring countries.

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