His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa was speaking at an event to honour winners of the third edition of the Bahrain Award for Entrepreneurship at the ART Rotana Amwaj Islands.
He said Bahrain continues to invest in its citizens through educational initiatives, training and wider programmes designed to promote private sector growth.
“Human capital is the most valuable resource for any economy and it is through human creativity and innovation that nations such as Bahrain are able to create promising opportunities,” he said.
Highlighting the government’s commitment to support the creation of employment opportunities for all Bahrainis, the Deputy King and Economic Development Board chairman said it was in line with directives of His Majesty King Hamad which ensure that Bahraini citizens remain at the core of the kingdom’s development.
He affirmed that all government initiatives are based on the principles of sustainability, competitiveness and fairness which underpin Vision 2030, the kingdom’s roadmap for a modern, diversified economy.
The Deputy King noted that these initiatives are designed to accelerate growth in key strategic sectors through the creation of an attractive investment environment which reinforces Bahrain’s reputation as an entrepreneurship hub in the region, creates new jobs and raises income per capita.
Noting the important role played by start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the Deputy King further underlined the importance of the private sector as one of the main pillars supporting overall economic growth.
“The economic challenges facing regional markets can be overcome by developing strategic public and private partnerships focused on stimulating non-oil sector growth, attracting investments and boosting local economies,” he said.
Expressing pride in the achievements and determination of Bahraini entrepreneurs, the Deputy King said initiatives such as the annual Bahrain Award for Entrepreneurship are vital to the kingdom’s development. He also highlighted the importance of supporting such programmes.
The seven winners who received a total of BD150,000 ($395,000) in cash prizes along with other benefits are: Aisha Mohammed Abdulmalik, owner of Aisha Jewels, who won the Micro-Enterprise of the Year Award; Faisal Rami Khalifeh, business development director of Solar One, who bagged the Start-up of the Year Award; Mohammed Abdulaal, founder of All Food for Food Stuff, who received the SME of the Year Award; Bader Murad, president and chief executive of Bader Models for the Enterprise of the Year with International Footprint Award; Shaikh Rashed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, general manager of Peninsula Dairy Farms for the Sustainability in Business Award and Dr Rana Ali Al Ammadi, director of Rana’s Aesthetic Health Centre for the Female Entrepreneur of the Year.
The late Yusuf bin Ahmed Kanoo, founder of the Yusuf bin Ahmed Kanoo Group of Companies, was posthumously honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
A total of 30 entrepreneurs were shortlisted for the awards this year.
The seven winners this year join the elite list of 14 entrepreneurs who won during the first two editions.
The Bahrain Award for Entrepreneurship is organised by Tamkeen in association with strategic partners including the Industry, Commerce, and Tourism Ministry, Economic Development Board, the Bahrain Development Bank, the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as knowledge advisers, the Arab International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Investment – Office of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) for Investment and Technology in Bahrain, and EY Bahrain.
The award aims to create and encourage the entrepreneurial culture in the kingdom through developing the skills of the winners.
This will be achieved through training workshops and benefits that will be offered to the winners which will enable them to further succeed with their endeavours.