Bahrain’s startup ecosystem generated a remarkable $1.2 billion in value between July 2021 and December 2023, garnering impressive recognition in the 2024 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER).

The GSER by Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network found that this represents a staggering 40 per cent compound annual growth compared to the previous reporting period.

Ecosystem Value, a key metric, reflects the economic impact of startups through exits and valuations.

Tamkeen teamed up with Startup Genome to highlight the kingdom’s significant strides in fostering a supportive entrepreneurial environment.

The report ranks Bahrain within the top 10 Mena ecosystems across several crucial metrics.

These include: Performance, which assesses the overall size and effectiveness of an ecosystem based on the accumulated value created by tech startups through exits and funding and Bang for Buck, which evaluates the average runway (growth potential) acquired by tech startups after securing venture capital funding.

Innovation is measured through research and patent activity, placing Bahrain among the top 15 Mena ecosystems in this domain.

Early-stage funding activity and investor participation position Bahrain within the top 15 Mena ecosystems for fostering innovation.

The ‘Talent and Experience category’ recognises long-term trends in key performance factors, highlighting Bahrain’s strengths in developing a skilled workforce.

The GSER also acknowledges Bahrain’s competitive edge in attracting and retaining skilled tech talent.

The report underscores the strength of Bahrain’s startup ecosystem in specific sectors. Fintech, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence (AI), big data and analytics stand out due to their high concentration of talent, robust support resources, and a burgeoning number of startups in these fields.

Alya Alaali, chief strategy and data analytics officer at Tamkeen, emphasises Bahrain’s commitment to nurturing its entrepreneurial landscape.

“The kingdom has made significant progress in establishing a supportive ecosystem for startups,” she says. “We champion innovation by enabling skill development and providing access to funding for entrepreneurs.”

The GSER draws on the expertise of representatives from more than 40 countries. It provides valuable insights and guidance to policymakers and private sector leaders aiming to cultivate thriving startup communities, recognised as a primary driver of job creation and economic growth.

Contributions from thought leaders and regional players further enrich the report’s data-driven findings, which stem from Startup Genome’s extensive research and policy advocacy over the past decade.

“As an advisor and research body focused on entrepreneurial-led economic growth,” shares Stephan Kuester, managing partner at Startup Genome, “We are delighted to highlight Bahrain’s achievements and share best practices through our collaboration with Tamkeen. Bahrain’s progressive approach to fintech and Sharia-compliant financial services regulations, coupled with its support for regional expansion of startups, are particularly noteworthy.”


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