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Bahrain’s Cabinet took a landmark decision earlier this week to empower the Kingdom’s burgeoning small and medium enterprises sector. Per the new dictate, 10% of all public contracts will now be reserved for SMEs.

The move falls in line with the government’s ongoing efforts to encourage and further expedite the growth of entrepreneurship in the country. 

Worth noting here is that Bahraini SMEs already enjoy a 10% quota on auctions for service facilities at government institutions. As the next logical step on that front, the Cabinet has now extended that quota to all public tenders so SMEs have greater access to government deals. 

According to reports, the Cabinet duly reviewed a memorandum submitted by the Ministerial Committee for Legal and Legislative Affairs before approving the new quota. 

Meanwhile, Ayman bin Tawfiq Al-Moayyad, the Minister for Youth and Sports Affairs, has lauded the directives given by HRH Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa saying it will help more than 6,300 SMEs in the country, of which about 3,000 are run by females.

The strategy of allocating government quota to support the SME sector already has a proven track record in countries such as Egypt and the UAE. For example, a large number of small and medium businesses in Egypt benefited from a 2016 directive by the country’s top banking authority that made it mandatory for all banks to reserve 20% of all their loans for the SME sector.