Bahrain Development Bank (BDB) is now focused on more than just start-ups and now concerns itself with changing the ‘safe employment’ of Bahraini society.“Initially, we were involved primarily in encouraging start-ups. But this has changed. We are now tasked with fostering an entrepreneurial and innovative society,”
Bahrain Development Bank Non-Financial Services Deputy General Manager Shaikh Hesham binMohammed Al Khalifa told DT News. “What we are trying to achieve here is to address society as a whole.”He said that it has already been part of the local culture for parents to discourage their newly-graduated offspring from entrepreneurship in favour of a more secure job.“We want to change this mentality. We want to encourage our society to do what it loves. People need to give their skills back to society. Meanwhile, our role is to give them additional business skills and then they can go off to make a living out of it,” said Shaikh Hesham.The entire Entrepreneurship Development Programme takes up to several weeks of coaching, followed by advisory services throughout the start-up phase of the entrepreneur.The success of the programme has led the BDB to specialise the Entrepreneurship Development Programme, which will group entrepreneurs according to their industry which they wish to start their business in.Shaikh Hesham said that their specialised programmes will be launched as early as next month with programmes focusing in ICT, multimedia, agriculture and automotive. At least 50-100 are accommodated in each incubator at a time.The programme is conducted at its subsidiary, the Bahrain Institute of Entrepreneurship and Technology in coordination with the Non-Financial Services Division of BDB.