“Venture capital investment in the MENA region is a fraction of the level in markets like the USA and China – this means there are entrepreneurs with great ideas that are not realising their potential because they cannot access the funding required. We are delighted to be able to utilize the strengths of Bahrain as a regional financial centre and its growing startup ecosystem to support the growth of a new wave of innovative businesses across the region.”
The fund was launched at Gateway Gulf Forum, which is being held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Chairman of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), and brings together over five hundred global investors and business leaders to explore ways of unlocking the opportunities being created by the economic transformation in the GCC. The event provides a direct route into accessing the GCC market by showcasing major investment-ready projects worth USD $18billion, with projects in the planning phase driving up the value of the project pipeline to USD $26 billion. The event also offers an opportunity to match funding with large-scale infrastructure projects in Bahrain.
As well as providing additional capital to regional startups, the fund is expected to help attract additional venture capital funds to Bahrain, enhancing the local startup ecosystem. Bahrain’s ecosystem has benefitted from a number of major economic reforms in recent years, including a reduction in the minimum capital required for starting a business, measures to enable onshore crowdfunding in conventional and shari’a-compliant finance and the introduction of a regulatory sandbox for fintech.
These advances were reflected in the recent Global Startup Ecosystem Report, released by the Global Entrepreneurship Network and Startup Genome, which included Bahrain in global ‘ecosystems to watch’ in both fintech and gaming. Bahrain was the only Arab country to be included in either list.
Telephone: +973 17589966
About the Bahrain Economic Development Board
The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is an investment promotion agency with overall responsibility for attracting investment into the Kingdom and supporting initiatives that enhance the investment climate.
The EDB works with the government and both current and prospective investors to ensure that Bahrain’s investment climate is attractive, to communicate the key strengths, and to identify where opportunities exist for further economic growth through investment.
The EDB focuses on several economic sectors that capitalise on Bahrain's competitive advantages. These sectors include financial services, manufacturing, ICT, tourism, logistics and transport.
For more information on the Bahrain EDB visit www.bahrainedb.com; for information about Bahrain visit www.bahrain.com.
About Gateway Gulf
Gateway Gulf is a major new investment event that will convene global industry leaders in order to unlock the opportunities being created by the economic transformation in the GCC.
The invitation-only event, held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Chairman of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, will bring together 500 global investors and CEOs at the Four Seasons hotel, Manama from 8-10 May 2018.
Gateway Gulf will include both high-level plenary sessions and showcase investment-ready projects from across the region in sectors including oil and gas, real estate, tourism, housing, power, water, transport, public works and manufacturing. Additional information can be found at: www.gatewaygulf.com
© Press Release 2018