Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain – August 2021: National Bank of Bahrain (NBB), Bahrain’s leading bank, has signed an agreement to continue its strategic partnership with StartUp Bahrain and Startup MGZN. The announcement was made in the virtual presence of representatives and key stakeholders from NBB, StartUp Bahrain and Startup MGZN.
StartUp Bahrain was established in 2017 to be a national platform for innovative and scalable startups. Its goal is to unite startups, companies, investors, accelerators, incubators, educational institutions, the private sector and the government of Bahrain to help develop the ecosystem. Startup MGZN dates back to 2013, and is a Bahrain-based regional digital community and platform for startups, SMEs, entrepreneurship, and youth in the Middle East and North Africa region. Their evolving strategic partnership will further advance the National Bank of Bahrain’s goal of leading the way as the Kingdom’s national bank when it comes to the support and backing not only of startups and SMEs, but the world of entrepreneurship in Bahrain as a whole.
Right from its first year of partnership with StartUp Bahrain and Startup MGZN, NBB has been an active supporter and catalyst of the ecosystem, especially in the times of COVID-19. Through the renewal of this partnership, NBB aims to further extend its supportive efforts towards the growth of Bahrain’s startups and SMEs, as well as to create a favorable environment for Bahrain’s business sphere.
Through its partnership, NBB hosted a number of live segments on StartUp Bahrain’s social media to communicate directly and informally with members of the ecosystem while covering specific topics. NBB also supported Startup MGZN’s ‘Startup Evenings’ as it went virtual due to COVID-19. Startup Evenings is an exclusive, free-to-attend, get together for startups and entrepreneurs aiming to host the exchange of ideas, and inspiring others. NBB hosted one Evening with H.E. Minister Zayed R. AlZayani where the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism’s supportive efforts were highlighted and discussed. Another session was moderated by NBB, with NBB’s very own CEO, Mr. Jean-Christophe Durand, in a session that answered many questions in early COVID-19 days, with over 200 people attending each session, respectively. It’s noteworthy to mention that NBB are partners in all Startup Evenings, including one that was also held virtually last year with H.E. Mr. Mohammed Al-Qaed when the BeAware app had just launched.
NBB’s commitment towards the ecosystem has been quintessential, with initiatives such as the launch of Tamweel Al-Watani; a new lending scheme that aims to support locally owned businesses, partnering with Tarabut Gateway, a startup, to become the first bank in region to launch Open Banking solutions, pledging BHD 2.5 million to the National Campaign to Combat the Coronavirus, and leading by example for banks around the Kingdom to also succeed in championing the ecosystem.
Eyad Ebrahim, Head of Business Management, Commercial & SMEs at NBB, commented on the partnership: “We are pleased to renew our ongoing partnership with StartUp Bahrain and StartUp MGZN. Through this partnership, we were able to deliver tremendous support to the ecosystem by providing the necessary means to enable the growth of Bahrain’s startups and SMEs. Our ongoing partnerships with organisations within the SME ecosystem highlight our commitment and our support of the sector, particularly over the course of the past year and its accompanying challenges.”
Commenting on this partnership, Project Manager of StartUp Bahrain & Startup MGZN, Sarah Faisal said: “We are enthused to announce our steady, strategic partnership with the National Bank of Bahrain is entering a new phase. It is through NBB’s leadership and collaboration with startups— given their unwavering role in incentivizing and supporting the SMEs and the ecosystem in the Kingdom, that we can envision the direction we’re heading towards with Bahrain’s digital economy and startup ecosystem, and it’s one that is certainly promising, even during an ongoing pandemic.”
If you’re interested to learn more about StartUp Bahrain, who’s who in the ecosystem and how you can be involved, visit startupbahrain.com, follow @startupbahrain on social media, and get in touch to learn how you can be involved.