Counting Bahrain among the top 15 in the Mena region in terms of the ability to generate and retain talent, the report also includes the country among the top 15 in assessing the size and performance of ecosystems based on the accumulated tech start-up value created from exits and funding.
The nation’s young, highly-skilled workforce with the best human capital development in the Mena region is a key strength, notes the report.
Over 70 per cent of tech industry employees are local Bahrainis, 60pc are in the 18-24 age range, 90pc are fluent in both English and Arabic, and 89pc hold either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree, while 44pc hold a professional certification.
The kingdom has also been included in the top 15 knowledge ecosystems in Mena, which is a measure of innovation through research and patent activity.
Commenting, Tamkeen chief executive Husain Rajab said: “The report reflects Bahrain’s prominent ranking as a supportive start-up ecosystem. An attractive business environment, a highly skilled workforce, a low cost of living and a diversified economy are some of the key reasons mentioned in it, which should make start-ups want to move to Bahrain.
“The fintech sector is, also, highlighted for its density of talent, support resources, and startup activity, promoting and facilitating a fast-growing ecosystem in line with the kingdom’s promising vision for a sustainable economic development,” he added.
Bahrain has no taxes on income, sales, capital gains, or estates, with the exception of some businesses that operate in the oil and gas sector and the kingdom makes it extremely convenient to establish a business and allows 100pc foreign ownership of business assets, the GSER2021 noted.
It is the only Gulf state to permit equal business freedoms across all sectors throughout the country.
As for the region, the report noted Mena’s vibrant startup ecosystem is a function of its status among the world’s most digitally connected regions.
“Around 88pc of Mena’s population goes online daily, the World Economic Forum reports, and 94pc owns a smartphone. Digital consumption is similarly high in some individual countries,” the GSER2021 said.
The report quoted start-up data platform Magnitt in noting that as of May 2021, capital deployed in Mena had doubled year-on-year.
Based on analysis of more than 3 million start-ups, the GSER2021 presents a detailed perspective on how the top 140 entrepreneurial ecosystems in the world stack up.
Despite a turbulent year for many, the top-five global start-up ecosystems maintain their reign at the top, with Silicon Valley in the first position, followed by New York City and London tied for second place for the second year in a row.
The global start-up economy is worth over $3.8 trillion in ecosystem value, more than the individual GDP of most G7 economies.
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