Our little Kingdom is a vibrant entrepreneurial hub for people of all backgrounds, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for by making great strides in fostering a thriving startup ecosystem. However, as with many entrepreneurial communities, there is room for improvement when it comes to inclusivity and accessibility for all individuals, regardless of their experiences. Developing a more welcoming entrepreneurial culture in Bahrain is crucial for the continued growth and success of the startup ecosystem and a sustainable economy.
So what steps can we take to develop such a thing? *clears throat* Let us take the wheel for a minute.
- Education and awareness: Individuals, particularly young people, need to learn more about the opportunities and benefits of entrepreneurship that help break down barriers and stereotypes to explore more solutions using the input and perspectives that differ from the norm. Be it in school books or tailored classes, highlighting successful entrepreneurs who come from diverse backgrounds will dispel the myth that entrepreneurship is only for a select few and encourage anyone with motivation in pursuit of it.
- Access to resources and support: Providing mentorship and networking opportunities, as well as access to funding and other resources that are often difficult to come by, assists underrepresented individuals to participate in the entrepreneurial ecosystem comfortably without feeling restricted or limited in terms of support or knowledge.
- Lead by example: The private sector, particularly successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, can play an instrumental role in promoting inclusivity and diversity in the entrepreneurial culture by leading by example and actively promoting the participation of underrepresented groups and collaborating with SMEs, whether it’s by funding or partnering.
- More mentorship programs: Yes, you read that right! The ecosystem needs more mentorship now than ever, especially for entrepreneurs who are new to the scene and face the stigma of asking for help. Creating mentorship programs that connect veteran entrepreneurs with new startup founders and providing them with guidance and support is vital to the growth and sustainability of startups.
- Create a welcoming and supportive environment: By creating an open, comfortable space for entrepreneurs of all diverse backgrounds to feel supported in sharing their ideas and experiences, the community will foster a culture of open-mindedness and acceptance, where new ideas and perspectives are valued and respected.
There’s no doubt that the startup ecosystem in Bahrain is already welcoming and friendly, every person you turn to is never short of helpful advice. But it’s always worth noting and reminding that a more inclusive and diverse startup ecosystem will bring more innovation, opportunities and the best entrepreneurial genius we have often witnessed to the Kingdom. We’re just excited to see what’s next!
If you have any questions or feedback to share with StartUp Bahrain, don’t hesitate to reach out using our social media handles on Instagram or LinkedIn. We love to hear from you. No, really, we do!