Bahrain Business Incubator Centre (BBIC) celebrates its 10th anniversary with strong results and a clear way ahead. The business incubator concept was initiated back in the late 1950’s and is particularly relevant today for countries such as Bahrain with a stable macroeconomic environment and exchange rate, no restriction on capital repatriation, no personal or corporate income taxes and a very sophisticated business infrastructure.
BBIC was established in 2003, and was intended to be dedicated to supporting the successful development of pioneering entrepreneurial enterprises with a vision of providing the ideal environment to greatly accelerate the growth of business entities within the Kingdom of Bahrain. The objective is to build an ongoing supportive relationship among BBIC and entrepreneurs in order to establish a mutual understanding of the market trend and business needs of the country. BBIC offers various services which include advisory, training, access to finance, business linkages, marketing support, in addition to physical space for each business within the center’s premises. The purpose of BBIC is to increase the percentage of successful establishments of unique businesses within a period of up to 3 years. The incubation process nurtures businesses within the specified timeline in order to graduate sustainable businesses that are then expected to enter the real market, adding value to the overall economy of the Kingdom.
BBIC was conceived by its mother company, Bahrain Development Bank (BDB), the leading financial institution that funds small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The establishment of BBIC was intended to complement BDB’s strategy in meeting its overall objectives and create a healthy ecosystem for SMEs to flourish. BBIC has been initiated, financed and fully owned by BDB, as a pioneering project, which is the first of its kind in Bahrain.
BBIC's establishment is a continuation of the Kingdom's policy to improve efficiency and foster the growth of SMEs through its team of experts and its affiliation with national & international entities, thus ensuring the success of the program by having firms leaving the program financially viable and freestanding. This will strengthen the economy in a way that the Kingdom of Bahrain becomes an Industrial force within the GCC.
History of BBIC:
BBIC was established in late 2003 with the incubation capacity of 30 businesses (workshops and offices). It had its first expansion in 2009 reaching a total of 100 spaces, and expanded once more in 2011 totaling to 137 units including workshops and offices. BBIC has graduated 78 business enterprises and 50% of the incubated businesses have successfully gone through the incubation program where some of them have met the graduation criteria quite faster than others. Few of the graduates had to extend their graduation period due to the nature of their work which requires a longer period for the business to stand on its own. The graduation involved businesses from various sectors given that the BBIC runs a mixed-use incubation program.
Future of BBIC:
BBIC currently has the capacity to graduate an average of 2 to 3 business enterprises per quarter. The future plan is to intensify the graduation process by assuring smooth and safe graduations. Moreover, the direction of the center’s focus will be more towards regular monitoring and counseling of tenants with the association of the Business Advisory Unit in order to make sure that businesses are on the right track, to accelerate their growth and development.