Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) and the SMEs Development Board have commenced their event in support of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
The event was inaugurated by Abdulla bin Adel Fakhro, Minister of Industry and Commerce. It was attended by a number of representatives from the public and private sectors, alongside the bank's management team and several Bahraini entrepreneurs.
Fakhro said: "Bahrain believes in the importance of this vital sector and has made significant efforts towards providing innovative, sustainable financing services that support SMEs. This is key ingredient of the kingdom's financial services sector development strategy 2022-2026, which stipulates an increase in the share of SME financing through a phased approach that will reach 20% of retail banks' local finance portfolio by the end of 2025. This also comes as part of the SMEs Development Board strategy 2022-2026 focused on the 'Access to Finance' pillar, through which 13 initiatives have been established by the Board and 10 have been completed.
“The initiatives include 'Al Waha' Fund of Funds, Women Banking Solutions, the Crowdfunding Platform, the Bahrain Investment Market, Support for Phase 1 Startups, and the Public Procurement Financing Programme for SMEs – all of which have had a significant impact in developing financing processes."
He added that work is still under way to expand SME financing solutions and increase the loan portfolio of local banks. As such, partnerships are required to achieve these objectives, and BisB has focused on offering simplified, innovative banking solutions to support these enterprises. This will also enable further steps towards developing products that meet the growing needs of this sector and support these companies, in addition to ensuring their stability and growth.
Yaser Alsharifi, Chief Executive Officer of BisB, commented: "We are committed to continue providing simplified and innovative financial solutions for our corporate customers that will facilitate their growth and unlock possibilities."
Jawad Humaidan, Chief Corporate and Institutional Banking Officer at BisB, said: "This event reflects our commitment towards SMEs in the kingdom. Jointly with our partners, we are offering an integrated solution for our corporate customers that will enable growth through fully digital banking and financing solutions and exclusive and discounted service by our partners."
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