KPMG in Bahrain has launched a new business forum, the Entrepreneurship Club, intended to coach and mentor Entrepreneurs in Bahrain. The Entrepreneur Club brings together business people to share ideas on topical issues and listen to the views of other local entrepreneurs, industry representatives, and KPMG experts.
There will be seminars and discussions every six months, and the first seminar was held on Tuesday 14 January 2014. The theme for the launch session was "The Challenges of Financing for Entrepreneurs", held at the Capital Club in Manama, where members discussed their own challenges in relation to financing, as well as the opportunities in the SME sector.
The ± 70 participants included keynote speakers and panelists from the Bahrain Association of Banks, private banks, venture capital firms as well as first and second generation enterprises. These seminars and the Entrepreneurship Club are among the first of their kind in the region, and are supported by Bahrain Development Bank and Tamkeen.
The forum was formally launched by Jamal Fakhro, managing partner of KPMG in Bahrain, and included a keynote address from Shaikh Hesham Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, deputy general manager of non-financial services at Bahrain Development Bank.
Jamal Fakhro, said: "We are delighted by the support that we have received from the Bahraini entrepreneurs for the launch of the club. In Bahrain, SMEs contribute 28% to GDP, 73% to employment, and constitute more than 90% of total business."
Other keynote speakers included Professor Filipe Santos, associate professor of entrepreneurship at Insead, who spoke on financing challenges faced by entrepreneurs from a global perspective, and Mohammed Adel Fakhro, chairman of MBA Fakhro Group, who shared some of his experience on entrepreneurship.
KPMG recognises the growing significance of the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector in Bahrain. Through our owner-managed business function, we have greater focus on SMEs and family-owned businesses in Bahrain, and the Entrepreneurship Club is another testament to our commitment to this critical sector in Bahrain's economy.
The idea of launching the forum originated in a KPMG-hosted workshop on entrepreneurship held in May 2013. The Entrepreneurship Club has been set up to provide support, guidance, and help mentor the entrepreneurs and young leaders of Bahraini family businesses and SMEs.
It will also open up a platform where entrepreneurs can meet with their peers and other young and upcoming leaders to discuss current and emerging issues, establish new business contacts, and get expert advice.