Meet marketing communications manager Hala Sulaiman
Time Out Bahrain staff
Can you give some detail of the initiatives taking place? Tamkeen has more than 180 programmes enabling Bahrainis and Bahrain-based private sector enterprises to enhance their efficiency and productivity. These programmes are generally split between those targeting enterprises and those targeting individuals. To date, more than 53,000 beneficiaries have taken advantage.
Many companies working in the hospitality and food and beverage sector have benefited from our Enterprise Development Support schemes (Tarweej, Tasweeq, Techania, Jawda and Istishara), which offer 80-per-cent subsidies on business support services to boost enterprise performance, including participation in exhibitions and trade shows, purchasing machinery and equipment, designing and executing marketing strategies and business plans and many others. During the current year alone, over 1,500 enterprises have benefited from these schemes.
For individuals, nearly 1,570 Bahrainis have benefited from our programmes dedicated to this sector, including training food preparation staff, receptionists, supervisors, cashiers and fast food chain assistants. We urge those working in this sector to contact us and find out how they can benefit.
How are these expected to help the industry recover and what has been the response so far? The response has been very good. If you take the aforementioned EDS schemes as an example, over 1,500 enterprises have benefited this year alone, which is way ahead of the target and a strong indicator that people are seeing how others have benefited and want to see those results in their businesses as well.
Our mandate in Tamkeen is clear. As we are an organisation funded by the private sector for the private sector, we study the market gaps and design programmes to address those gaps.
We have seen a number of new events companies getting involved in the kingdom’s social sector, is there any help available for them? Again, any company registered in Bahrain can benefit from our programmes, whether it be to obtain affordable financing, subsidised business support services, entrepreneurship support, staff training, etc. so long as it meets the eligibility criteria, which are very straightforward and can be found on our website www.tamkeen.bh
Is Tamkeen also taking steps to encourage inward investment in the island’s hospitality sector? The kingdom is known for being business-friendly as many global rankings confirm, and Tamkeen is a part of that. We find that companies looking to establish a presence here are positively surprised when they learn about all the benefits they can reap from Tamkeen’s programmes.
In addition to our market studies, we also make it a point to work closely with major organisations from both the public and private sectors to ensure our support programmes meet actual needs and address the gaps in the most effective way possible. We also welcome feedback through our social media channels or by calling our customer engagement team at (17 383 333).
Does Tamkeen have a message for the island’s residents about how they too can help the industry prosper? We hope to see more young Bahrainis seeking careers in this dynamic sector, either through employment or becoming entrepreneurs and starting their own business in this dynamic sector. We have so many programmes to help set their careers on the right track and encourage them to contact us to find out how.
Are you starting to see signs of recovery? We are pleased to see Bahrain flourishing. Inbound traffic into the kingdom is strong, and this is confirmed in the feedback we receive from the various business sectors. We are doing all we can, within our capacity, to support the local business community across all sectors.
How do you see the future developing for the island’s hospitality and food and beverage industries? Bahrain has a bright future. It has a well-educated and hard-working local work force, excellent infrastructure and a strategic location as the gateway to the Gulf. In addition, it possesses a heritage that dates back thousands of years.
The island is home to numerous unique cultural and historical points of interest and this will continue to drive tourists and visitors from the region and beyond.