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Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain – March 1, 2020: The National Bank of Bahrain has signed an agreement to become StartUp Bahrain’s newest strategic partner. The National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) aims to ramp up its efforts to lead the financial sector’s support in growing and developing the startup ecosystem, its startups, and stakeholders under its #TeamBahrain vision.

The strategic partnership was announced and signed at NBB’s headquarters in Manama. The announcement was made in the presence of representatives from the National Bank of Bahrain (NBB), and StartUp Bahrain stakeholders.

Commenting on the occasion, Head of Commercial & SMEs at NBB, Arif Janahi said, “As the National Bank of Bahrain, we recognise the importance of supporting initiatives that promote the growth and development of the Kingdom’s startup ecosystem. Through our partnership with StartUp Bahrain, we look forward to stepping into the next wave of innovation and contributing towards the Kingdom’s national efforts to progress as a digital economy. We endeavour to support and empower local talent to realise their goal of becoming future business leaders, while helping them to unleash their full potential and thrive in today’s business environment.”

Speaking on this partnership, a representative of StartUp Bahrain, Bader Kamal, said, “I believe actions speak louder than words and this partnership is a clear testimony of the National Bank of Bahrain’s vision and drive to help grow and develop the startup ecosystem and the innovation it brings to Bahrain’s digital economy. We are excited to see how Bahrain’s largest financial institution will play a major role in the development and support of the ecosystem’s startups, events, happenings, and strategic opportunities. Bahrain’s digital economy is developed through the efforts of all its public and private stakeholders, and we are proud to have the National Bank of Bahrain become one of our strategic partners to making that happen”.

Pakiza Abdulrahman, Head of Startups at the Bahrain EDB, said: “With its trailblazing approach to open banking, NBB showed how traditional financial institutions can collaborate with and learn from innovative startups in order to adapt and thrive in the digital economy. But digital transformation is a two-way street. This new partnership with Startup Bahrain will be an opportunity for young challengers and disruptors to learn from one of Bahrain’s most established financial institutions. It is collaborative, mutually beneficial partnerships like this that Bahrain’s thriving, world-class startup ecosystem is founded upon”.

Founded in 2017 as a national platform for innovative and scalable startups, StartUp Bahrain aims to help grow and develop the ecosystem in collaboration with corporates, investors, accelerators, incubators, educational institutions, and the Bahrain government. Its partnership with NBB will further boost the ecosystem’s goals to becoming one of the most prominent and actively growing ecosystems in the region.

Furthermore, NBB has taken the lead as the first bank in the MENA region to launch Open Banking solutions through the Bahraini startup ‘Tarabut Gateway’ following the regulatory mandates set by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). The move, underlined by a long-term vision for customer transparency, efficiency, and an enhanced experience, showcases the bank’s strategic adoption of innovative solutions to solidify Bahrain’s spearheading of the digital economy in the region.

If you’re interested to learn more about StartUp Bahrain, who’s who in the ecosystem and how you can be involved, visit, follow @startupbahrain on social media, and get in touch to learn how you can be involved.