The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector arm of IDB Group, in partnership with Ibdar Bank, Bahrain-based wholesale Islamic Investment bank and Bahrain’s Tamkeen has announced the launch of the Bahrain SME fund.
The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector arm of IDB Group, in partnership with Ibdar Bank, Bahrain-based wholesale Islamic Investment bank and Bahrain’s Tamkeen has announced the launch of the Bahrain SME fund. The Bahrain SME Fund is a Shariah compliant mezzanine private equity Fund which will invest in Bahrain’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s). The Fund will target SME’s with high growth potential in consumer, industrial, ICT, education and healthcare sectors, as well as sectors experiencing dynamic change, or where there are clearly attractive investment opportunities. Mr. Khalid Al Aboudi, Chief Executive Officer of the ICD expressed: “ICD has put its mission statement into practice for the SMEs sector by engaging in innovative strategies and alliances that will serve to strengthen SMEs in Middle East and North Africa, thereby enhancing the impact of socio-economic development. We are pleased to partner with Ibdar Bank and Tamkeen to launch the Bahrain SME Fund. SME support is at the center of ICD’s strategy as we seek to develop the private sector as a vehicle for economic and social growth, and facilitate further prosperity in Islamic countries. The SME Funds Program, focusing on providing strategic advisory services, designing, developing, launching and managing investment vehicles with a successful track record, is also providing technical assistance to financial institutions and investee companies. The Program is not only supporting access to finance but also favoring inclusive growth with the provision of a comprehensive range of financial products and services with customized approach for each Member Country ” The Fund will add immense value to Bahrain as a tool for SME growth and development where 90% of Bahrain enterprises are SMEs and their contribution accounts for about 30% of the Kingdom’s GDP. Dr. Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi Chief Executive of Tamkeen commented: “Tamkeen continuously works on providing support solution to private sector enterprises throughout their developmental stages in order to make the private sector the key engine of the economic development in the Kingdom of Bahrain. We are pleased to partner with The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and Ibdar Bank. Through these partnerships we aim to provide further support to enterprises in the Kingdom to facilitate their further success. Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Ahmed Al-Rayes, Chief Investment Officer of Ibdar Bank said: “SMEs are the main drivers for growth and economic diversification and the backbone of any successful and sustainable economy and contribute significantly to the development and growth of efficiency, particularly to innovation, job generation, and international competitiveness. The creation of this Fund is aligned with the Bank’s mission to support Bahrain’s economic diversification through private sector growth which will spur innovation and job creation.” Dr. Janahi added: “The SME sector in Bahrain has yet to reach its full potential compared to the euro zone where SMEs contribute approximately 60% to the GDP. This Fund will alleviate some of the challenges SME’s face in Bahrain, in particular, on the financial front where the mezzanine facility will be a smart tool that can elevate SME’s to the next level and in doing so support Bahrain’s 2030 economic vision.”