FIVE new incubators able to support almost 400 businesses are set to bolster the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector in Bahrain.
Two centres, with a capacity to offer services to 179 businesses, were officially opened at ABC Mall in Juffair in a ceremony under the patronage of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed Al Zayani.
Alwane SMEs Development Centre (ASMEDC) and Farouk Almoayyed Centre for Enterprise Development (FACED) are both non-profit organisations which fall under the SME Development Society of Bahrain (SMEDSB).
These centres will offer registered businesses services such as accounting, auditing, marketing, legal, workshops and management consulting.
Small businesses can cut down their costs by availing of these services, while also receiving help and advice to help their businesses succeed.
They will also have access to a conference room with the capacity to accommodate 70 people, and two others which can hold 30 each.
Moreover, weekly gatherings will allow the resident companies to network among themselves.
The ASMEDC, which can host 99 businesses, will focus on emerging companies, while FACED will be able to host 80 businesses.
The centres are among five incubators working under the society, following the success of its first incubator, FACED, which opened in 2014 with a capacity to host 20 businesses.
SMEDSB chairman Ahmed Al Salloum said since the centre opened it had seen 30 companies break through the incubation process.
“Building on this success, we have decided to open four more incubators and to expand the existing one,” he told the GDN on the sidelines of the inauguration.
Three more incubators, planned to officially open within the next month, will be able to serve 217 businesses – bringing the total to 396 for all five incubators.
However, Mr Al Salloum pointed out that these centres are currently fully operational.
The Gulf Gate Medical Incubator located in Salmaniya hosts doctors exclusively – with a capacity of 54.
The other two incubators include Bahrain Gate Support SMEs (74 businesses) and Pro Sky Business Incubator (89 businesses).
“Due to the high volume of applications received by the centre, especially from the owners of small enterprises, the administration has increased the space specified for small enterprises within the centre by adding additional space to accommodate the new offices,” SMEDSB honorary chairman Farouk Almoayyed said.
“This is an important step to support entrepreneurs and young people who wish to set up their own businesses and meet their business aspirations,” he said in a statement.
Bahrain currently has 19 incubators with a total capacity to serve 967 businesses.