Women’s role in business, society hailed
TDT | Manama
Start-ups in Bahrain, many of which are run by women, have raised more than $63 million in funding from 2016 to 2019, Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) Start-Ups head Pakiza Abdulrahman said. She was speaking during an online international forum entitled “The role of women and civil society during the COVID-19 pandemic...future achievements and opportunities”, organized by the Bahraini Businesswomen’s Society and held in collaboration with international and local partners from over 20 countries.
The region has also seen a surge in investments in recent years, and those achievements were represented in the completion of 564 deals and investments in 2019, totaling some $643 million, up from 294 deals in 2015, and 242 tech investors in 2018, up from 65 in 2012, with a compound annual growth rate of 25 percent.
Pakiza confirmed that startup funding is available in Bahrain at every stage, including government funding and grants, such as affordable financing and subsidiaries from the Tamkeen labor fund and from angel investments. The opportunities Bahrain offers to women entrepreneurs and small companies before and during the pandemic are aplenty, she noted.
“The Kingdom is one of the easiest places in the world to set up a company,” she said. “It provides opportunities that make it a smooth and easy experience thanks to a supportive government.” In addition, all necessary processes and services from commercial registration to public and private notaries are available online.
She added that supporting start-ups and scale-ups is an integral part of the national economic vision of Bahrain, as the public and private sectors unite in their vision towards empowering start-ups and creating a supportive environment that is keen on and deploying emerging technologies.
Women’s roles during pandemic Shura Council member and society member Dr. Ibtisam Al Dalal confirmed that Bahrain has succeeded in developing and implementing an integrated strategy to fight the coronavirus.
In line with the direction of Supreme Council for Women (SCW) president Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, the SCW has directed all its attention and expertise to support the work being done by Team Bahrain in service of Bahraini women and their families, to ensure the highest levels of personal and professional stability.
Two key SCW initiatives have so far served over 6,000 women-supported families in less than 50 days, Dr. Al Dalal said. For her part, society member Dr. Hanan Madan commented: “Women in Bahrain are playing a prominent role in breaking the chain of the spread of coronavirus.
“Women are very prominent in the healthcare sector in Bahrain; 65 percent of the total doctors in Bahrain are women, and as for nurses, those heroes constitute a massive 90 percent of our caregivers.” The forum was attended by SCW representatives, heads of societies and organizations, and representatives of a number of international organizations with whom the society signed memoranda of understanding from India, Russia, China, Egypt, and Jordan.