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BENEFIT, the Kingdom’s innovator and leading company in fintech and electronic financial transactions services,  in collaboration with the Supreme Council for Women (SCW) and with the support of Tamkeen Labor Fund, announced its selection of the Riyadat Center in A’ali to operate its Innovate for Bahrain (I4B) center to be operated by Bahrain FinTech Bay (BFB).

I4B represents a pioneering initiative in the Kingdom, with a primary objective to drive comprehensive programs that promote gender equality in the technology industry. The initiative will operate on multiple fronts, aligning with the strategic plans established by the SCW in collaboration with the private sector.

I4B is committed to skills development, with a focus on better preparing Bahrainis to excel in technical roles within leading technology companies. I4B strives to provide equal opportunities for innovation and technical jobs to individuals of all genders. The realization of these objectives is facilitated through close collaboration with the industry, including the identification of opportunities and the organization of relevant programs. 

It also conducts ideation (Acceleration) programs to nurture and develop new tech ideas. Furthermore, I4B serves as an incubator for these ideas, offering support and mentorship through an extensive network of experienced guides, paving the way for innovative success in Bahrain’s tech landscape.

The signing ceremony, held at the Riyadat Center, was attended by officials from collaborating entities, including Her Excellency Hala bint Mohamed Jaber Al-Ansari, Secretary-General of the SCW, Mr. Abdulwahid AlJanahi, CE of BENEFIT and Chairman of the Board of Directors of BFB, Bader Sater, CEO of BFB and Ms. Dalal Al Qais, CEO of the Bahrain Development Bank. An agreement was signed to launch the “Innovate for Bahrain” center between BFB and Riyadat Center.

On this occasion, Her Excellency Al-Ansari applauded this ambitious project, which falls within the framework of continuous efforts to renew and develop the Riyadat Center to transform it into a comprehensive center for entrepreneurship and innovation. 

This encompasses the development of comprehensive programs and initiatives aimed at fostering the growth of women entrepreneurs while creating promising job opportunities for Bahraini women, aligning perfectly with the shared commitment of all stakeholders. These efforts contribute significantly to bolstering the center’s journey toward success and elevating the competitiveness of Bahraini women in terms of their economic engagement. Her Excellency acknowledged the dedicated contributions of all partners in the “Innovate for Bahrain” center, which notably include BENEFIT, Bahrain FinTech Bay, Tamkeen, and the Bahrain Economic Development Board. She underscored that this accelerator serves as an open space for innovation and a technical training hub, furthering the digital transformation of projects led by Bahraini women. This, in turn, empowers them to realize their goals and participate actively in the economic development process, thereby enriching the broader entrepreneurship sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Mr. Abdulwahed AlJanahi, the CE of BENEFIT and Chairman of Bahrain FinTech Bay’s Board of Directors, expressed the significance of this highly important partnership with the Supreme Council for Women. He highlighted the signing to establish a center for empowering entrepreneurship and supporting technology initiatives, especially for Bahraini women. This support and empowerment align with the council’s plans under the guidance of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, Wife of His Majesty the King and President of the Supreme Council for Women. He added, “We are working with our partners to equip the center with the latest technologies, and we will introduce diverse specialized support programs for the technology sector to meet the labor market’s needs, foster initiative and innovation among Bahraini women, and elevate this crucial sector. Bahrain FinTech Bay has accumulated valuable expertise and knowledge in operating incubators and accelerators, which we aim to achieve with this initiative.”

Ms. Dalal Al-Qais, the CEO of Bahrain Development Bank, stated, “We highly value our strategic partnership with both Bahrain FinTech Bay and the Supreme Council for Women in launching the first-of-its-kind business center within the Riyadat Center. Through this initiative, our aim is to support women-led startups by hosting training workshops, mentorship sessions, purposeful events, and a diverse array of activities. As the sole bank specializing in providing banking services to small to medium-sized enterprises at the local level, we have consistently prioritized supporting over 2,700 women entrepreneurs in recent years. Therefore, we are confident that our joint collaboration will provide the essential resources to pave the way for the success of these innovative businesses.”

Bader Sater, CEO of Bahrain FinTech Bay, added, “Innovate for Bahrain was a concept that was developed by Bahrain FinTech Bay in 2020 as a series of programs run in partnership with industry leaders. We are proud today to launch the initiative into a fully-fledged center based out of Riyadat. Innovate for Bahrain will be the center for innovators from across the Kingdom. It will engage with the community by offering unique programs built in partnership with the private sector based on their needs and support startup ideation.”