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The Global Entrepreneurship Congress 2019 (GEC), recently held for the first time in the Kingdom of Bahrain and organised by The Global Entrepreneurship Network and Tamkeen, attracted the most prominent economic thinkers under one roof to discuss important topics related to entrepreneurship and startup enterprises. The GEC event highlighted promoting the growth of entrepreneurial enterprises under various development programs as well as encourage investment in entrepreneurship by supporting startups and unlocking international opportunities.

The GEC provided a global platform which hosted investors from around the world as they learned about the Kingdom’s economic environment, startup culture and the enterprises driven by Bahraini entrepreneurs. During the event, Bahrain was recognised with a number of awards from the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), wherein Tamkeen was awarded three awards for Bahrain Investment Initiative, Global Ecosystem of the Year and Branding Champions Award.

Sessions held during the GEC tackled the importance of establishing an investment platform for investors interested in startups within the Kingdom and the region. A session titled “Investment in Innovation” highlighted Industry disruption trends and efforts to nurture and groom start-ups that aim to change and enhance the business landscape and how investing in innovation feeds into this. This also included discussing opportunities and challenges in the startup investment space. The session additionally highlighted opportunities and challenges in the startup investment space, strategies for investing the innovation age, private equity within the Kingdom and the region, fundraising in the new economy and the impact of technology on traditional industries. Tamkeen’s Director of Investment Ms. Safa Abdulkhaliq participated in the “Investment in Innovation” session, wherein she presented the vision and strategic direction to enhance Tamkeen’s role in investing in creativity and supporting the startup community.

The Congress highlighted Bahrain’s unique role in building an entrepreneurship sector as well as shed the light on support opportunities available within the Kingdom’s economic structure. Tamkeen had previously announced the official establishment of the GEN’s Bahrain branch ahead of the GEC 2019 event. Bahrain’s branch of the GEN aims to establish a network to support entrepreneurs and startups and further enhance Bahrain’s role in the entrepreneurship sector.

Tamkeen’s Director of Partnerships and Customer Engagement and GEN Bahrain representative Mr. Essam Hammad discussed how the GEN network in Bahrain aims to provide an interactive platform for local and international communication with the entrepreneurial sector, to grow the country’s entrepreneurship culture, encouraging Bahrainis to choose entrepreneurship as a career path, invest in entrepreneurship and inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs with local action and global aspirations.

This year’s edition of the GEC was attended by over 3000 people from 170 countries, in addition to thousands of entrepreneurs and investors with international participation during the event reaching up to 51%, the highest in the history of the congress over the past 10 years.