Tamkeen‘s Enterprise Development Support Programme has far exceeded its target over the period February to September 2012. The flagship programme, which seeks to enable enterprises in Bahrain to improve their efficiency and business sustainability of, is part of Tamkeen’s efforts to deliver accessible business support services to the Private Sector in Bahrain. Tamkeen has announced earlier this year that it has set a target to serve an additional 2,500 more business owners during the current phase of the Enterprise Development Support Programme with a total budget of around BD51 million allocated to the programme during that span. The Programme’s initial target was to provide support to around 850 business enterprises over the period Feb 2012 – Feb 2013. However, demand to the Programme has reached over 1,500 business enterprises from Feb – Sep 2012, prompted by a series of enhancements to the Enterprise Development. The Enterprise Development Support Agency staff run by KPMG Fakhro has increased threefold to cater to the increasing demand to the Programme. This is complimented with the dedicated toll-free call centre line inaugurated earlier this year (80008001). Moreover, since Feb 2012, 4449 business enterprises have attended the orientation sessions held daily at the Enterprise Development Support Agency Premises in the Seef District. In addition, over 3,425 applications to the Programme’s various schemes have been received by the Enterprise Development Support Agency, while the number of contracts signed by business enterprises so far is over 1,500 across the five business schemes as follows: Istishara 42 contracts, Jawda 27 contract, Tarweej 395 contract, Tasweeq 328 contracts and Techania 759 contracts. Start up businesses constituted around 29% of the total number of business enterprises registered for the Enterprise Development Support Programme, whereas businesses between the ages of 2 to 5 years comprised 28% percent of the total number of applications. The benefiting enterprises represent a wide range of business sectors, led by wholesale and retail (29 %), construction (15%), and manufacturing (9%). Beneficiaries and service providers have expressed their satisfaction with the Programme’s comprehensive consulting and support services. “To increase effectiveness and awareness of our unique digital concept which provides the best discounted deals on Bahrain, we have enrolled in the Schemes. We believe that with the help of Tamkeen we would be able to generate the buzz and reach needed to make such service successful. I think Tamkeen’s Scheme is very helpful for all start-ups, small businesses, and even larger organisations, and in a challenging economy,” Managing Director of Big Deal, Salman Matter, said. “We consider Tamkeen’s schemes a prime catalyst for business enterprises to jumpstart their race to excel. We are privileged to be part of this initiative as a service provider. The Enterprise Development Support Agency’s staff always shown their highest level of cooperation, professionally and technically, in all the projects allotted to us so far,” Abdulla Taqi, Executive Director of Pro-Vision Events, an enlisted Tamkeen Service provider, said. “The success of the Programme reflects Tamkeen’s efforts to extend significant support to Bahrain’s Private Sector organisations and a reinforcement of Tamkeen’s position as key driver of economic development. The Schemes support all private sector Bahrain-based enterprises to increase their efficiency, enhance business competiveness and raise the standards of their corporate performance,” Tamkeen’s Private Sector Support Senior Manager, Mohammed Bucheery said. Through the Enterprise Development Support Programme, Tamkeen contributes 80% of the associated costs up to a maximum of BD 15,000 for small enterprises and BD 20,000 for medium and large enterprises. The six schemes encompassed under the Enterprise Development Support Programme include: Business Development Scheme (Istishara) to enable business owners to better run their business by making informed business decisions for enhanced productivity and long-term sustainability, Quality Management Scheme (Jawda) to enable business owners to implement world-class quality management systems to improve products and services offered, Technical Assistance Scheme (Techania) to enable business owners to invest in modern equipment to reduce operational costs and improve productivity, Growth Assistance Scheme (Tarweej) to enable enterprises to increase their visibility through participation in local and international trade fairs and exhibitions and Marketing Assistance Scheme (Tasweeq) to enable business owners to create professional marketing and communication strategies to grow the business, and the Large Enterprises Scheme (LES) to enable large enterprises to acquire industrial machinery and technology. Over 60 approved service providers are on hand to provide high- quality professional consultation services to Bahraini Business enterprises through these Schemes.