The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) – the investment promotion agency for the Kingdom of Bahrain in partnership with Web Summit – announced today a fast-track setup process for startups globally looking to take advantage of the business environment and startup ecosystem in Bahrain. The initiative will also enable startups to access the broader MENA region markets with the hyper-connected Kingdom of Bahrain as their launchpad.
The announcement was made prior to the leading annual technology conference Web Summit 2019, which will be attended by a high-level delegation from Team Bahrain to include; the EDB, Tamkeem (Bahrain Labour Fund), Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bahraini startups and accelerators. International startups and related entities interested in learning more about Bahrain startup ecosystem, and the benefits Bahrain has to offer, are encouraged to visit the Bahrain EDB stand – no. E359, pavilion 3 – where a team will be on hand for the duration of the summit (November 5 – 7) to answer any questions.
The fast-track setup process is a free service offered through a dedicated concierge, and includes:
- A fast-tracked entry process which will cover residency, visa requirements and business registration
- Guidance from Bahrain’s incubators and accelerators, as well as access to their networks and programmes that will provide businesses with the connections they need to grow and expand
- Access to grants and financial support
The initiative will allow businesses and startups to benefit from the full ecosystem in Bahrain, which boasts operating costs up to 40% lower than its neighbours, one of the region’s most highly skilled local workforces and some of the most advanced soft infrastructure in MENA. Sitting at the nexus of the Middle East, the Kingdom offers a convenient springboard into the wider region opportunity, including its largest market, Saudi Arabia.
Commenting on this announcement, Ms. Pakiza Abdulrahman, Manager of Business Development – Startups at Bahrain EDB said:
“International startups can benefit hugely from the entrepreneurial support structure in Bahrain – offering access to capital, talent and new markets. With a hassle-free approach to setting up businesses in Bahrain, there is no better base to scale across the growing $1.5 trillion Gulf market.”
Michael Cunningham, Senior Vice President of Partnerships at the Web Summit said:
“We’re glad to see startup initiatives like that of the Bahrain Economic Development Board. It will be great that startups present at this year’s Web Summit will be able to benefit from their efforts.”
In recent years, Bahrain has expended considerable resources diversifying away from a previous focus on hydrocarbons. It now enjoys a burgeoning and increasingly dynamic digital economy; a maturing tech community; and a rapidly growing FinTech ecosystem. The Kingdom’s pioneering, agile and flexible regulatory framework allows it to regulate emerging technologies – such as open banking and cryptocurrencies – in a way other jurisdictions simply cannot. Thanks to this, Bahrain has earned a reputation as the region’s de facto test-bed for cutting edge technologies.