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The Labour Fund (Tamkeen) unveiled a new program to support commercial franchising for Bahraini enterprises. The announcement came during an event that hosted key stakeholders from the ecosystem and highlighted the importance of franchising for businesses through a panel of experts and entrepreneurs who have succeeded with this venture.

In collaboration with Export Bahrain and iFranchise Facilities Services LLC, a specialist in global franchise rights consulting, the initiative provides comprehensive support for commercial franchising, empowering Bahraini enterprises to venture into new markets worldwide. By enhancing the competitiveness of Bahraini businesses on the global stage and promoting domestic exports, the initiative aims to catalyze national economic growth and prosperity.

Tamkeen’s Business Franchising Program supports key economic sectors in the Kingdom by offering tailored assistance through two distinct tracks, one tailored for enterprises new to franchising their trademarks and the other for existing chains seeking to explore untapped markets. Through meticulous readiness assessments, market evaluations, and strategic collaborations with Export Bahrain, the program ensures that enterprises are equipped for international expansion. Furthermore, it provides comprehensive business development support, including gap analysis, documentation assistance for franchising initiation, facilitation of client/partner connections, and negotiation guidance, all of which help mitigate risks for enterprises and maximize opportunities for growth.

Tamkeen Chief Executive, Her Excellency Ms. Maha Abdulhameed Mofeez emphasized the organization’s commitment to preparing Bahraini enterprises for both local and international expansion, underscoring the pivotal role SMEs play in driving economic development. She also highlighted the conduciveness of Bahrain’s business environment towards entrepreneurial innovation and global competitiveness. Her Excellency added: “Tamkeen takes the initiative to support enterprises in Bahrain looking to franchise their businesses by providing them with the necessary resources to license their brands and find the suitable organizations to partner with on their journey in entering new markets. This support highlights the ability of Bahraini enterprises to stand out and compete regionally and globally, helping them achieve their expansion goals.” 

Export Bahrain CEO, Safa Sharif A. Khaliq reiterated the significance of collaborative efforts aimed at growing Bahraini exports and expanding their global footprints. She stated: “Export Bahrain plays a lead role in enabling local enterprises, particularly SMEs, to access key regional and global markets, amplifying Bahrain’s presence on the international stage. As a result of our innovative approach, Bahraini origin exports exceeded USD 860 million since inception and until December 2023.” She added: “Franchising provides an ideal path for Bahraini products to reach global markets and for that reason we partnered with the Labour Fund (Tamkeen) to support Bahraini enterprises in entering new markets successfully and encourage them to innovate and create products that are competitive on a global scale.”

Echoing these sentiments, Mark Seibert, CEO of iFranchise Facilities Services Foundation praised Bahrain’s business friendly environment which fosters innovation and entrepreneurship. He highlighted the critical roles played by Tamkeen and Export Bahrain in facilitating the global expansion of Bahraini enterprises, underscoring the importance of providing strategic guidance and support to SMEs looking to navigate international markets. He added: “Through this new program, we will explain the subtleties of franchising activities and highlight the different approaches to franchising, licensing and successfully promoting brands in different markets, as well as how to attract the right investors and partners.”

This collaboration is aligned with Tamkeen’s 2024 strategic priorities focused on economic impact and the private sector under three pillars; increasing economic participation through employment opportunities for new market entrants, expanding career development opportunities available to the Bahraini workforce, and further developing the private sector by supporting enterprises and boosting productivity through the adoption of technology.