Bahrain, GCC needs to adapt to venture capital model

Khalid Rumaihi, EDB CEO

MANAMA: The Kingdom of Bahrain and the GCC market need to adapt to the venture capital market model, according to latest report.

Thomson Reuters, on Monday released the findings of a Venture Capital (VC) Report on Economic Development in Bahrain on the sidelines of the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2016) being held in Bahrain. The study covers recommendations from leading market experts and exclusive interviews with market practitioners. It also outlined experiences of several countries with a focus on Shariah considerations related to venture capital.

Bahrain and the GCC region have to adapt some aspects of the global venture capital role model and customize it to suit the region’s needs such as the introduction of new crowd funding regulations, easing the process of setting up legal entities for entrepreneurs, and expanding the existing the bankruptcy laws, according to the findings.

Furthermore, governments could play an important role in supporting the venture capital industry by providing matching funds, developing deal flow connection portals, and encouraging connections between VC firms and local professionals.

“The report highlights the significance that venture capital plays in promoting the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Bahrain and the region. Venture capital is an important element in job creation and contributes to the acceleration of innovation across regional economies,” Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of Bahrain Economic Development Board, said.

“In Bahrain start-ups, will find a perfect testing ground for their ideas, with mature regulation and advice and support available from both public and private sector organisations. Not only that, but with our strategic location and advanced ICT infrastructure and policies, Bahrain can act as a launch pad for successful start-ups to grow and bring their ideas to the wider region.”

“Venture capital is an important industry that needs to be nurtured in the MENA region. We believe that education can foster a real entrepreneurial mind-set. Universities can also help by introducing courses on entrepreneurship and increasing investment in research and development,” Nadim Najjar, Managing Director, Middle East and North Africa, Thomson Reuters, said.

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