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In a recent study by Ernst & Young, it claimed that 70% of young Bahrainis are intrigued by the idea of starting their own business. That’s twice as anywhere else in the Gulf region. So it was no surprise when the Kingdom was chosen to host the Seedstars MENA summit for the second year in a row.

Similarly to the previous year, the event took place in Corporate Hub 9 in Amwaj Island. Simon Galpin, Managing Director at Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), kicked off proceedings on Thursday.

Around 150 people gathered to discuss business opportunities in Bahrain and the MENA region. The crowd consisted of emerging entrepreneurs, representatives from venture capital firms, students, as well as major stakeholders such as global accelerator 500 Startups, and many others.

Galpin took the stage to discuss future opportunities Bahrain has to offer, he said “Ecosystem, it’s a bit of a cliche, an important one though,” adding, “The Bahraini ecosystem doesn’t have to be the same as the one in Dubai to become a really important catalyst of economic growth.”

As the event progressed, more and more experts and industry stakeholders highlighted the fact that the Kingdom’s ecosystem has undergone several progressive steps which gives it a distinct advantage in comparison to other regional hubs.

For example, it was just recently where the Kingdom announced Bahrain FinTech Bay, a platform that aims to turn the country into a hotbed for innovations in the field of financial technologies.

Among other things, Bahrain has turned into an ideal investment destination in the region, as it consists of a free-zone area. Not only that, the regulatory framework designed to accommodate Amazon Web Services (AWS) has set the platform for further investments and innovations in the FinTech ecosystem.

In addition to that, the Kingdom is also taking all the necessary steps to throw a layer of protection for investors and entrepreneurs in the form of a new bankruptcy law.