Manama, Bahrain – Today, CIPE and the Seed Training Center celebrated the certification of 154 young, aspiring entrepreneurs in Bahrain. During a ceremony held at the Sheraton Hotel, CIPE and Seed also recognized several universities and entrepreneurship initiatives for their work inspiring a new generation of private sector leaders, including Ahliya University, Applied Science University, Arab Open University, the Royal University for Women, the University College of Bahrain, the Bahrain Development Bank (BDB), EBDA Bank, Tamkeen, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
In his opening remarks at the ceremony, U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Timothy Pounds congratulated the program participants, encouraging them to “nurture your grand visions, doggedly pursue your objectives, and go forward to become Bahrain’s next generation of business leaders.”
Entrepreneurship serves as a key pillar in the Kingdom of Bahrain’s economic development vision, as outlined in the Bahrain 2030 initiative launched by the government in 2008. The government is working to diversify its economy and shape its future based on the principles of sustainability, fairness and competitiveness.
Over the last four years, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has partnered with a number of universities and entrepreneurship initiatives in Bahrain. Through funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, CIPE developed and disseminated curricula on entrepreneurship in partnership with the William Davidson Institute (WDI) at the University of Michigan, a world-leading institute on entrepreneurship and emerging market economies. CIPE also drew from global best practices in entrepreneurship and leadership education in its work conducting a series of training workshops for program participants with local partner Seed Training Center.
“Our students learned to approach business development in a creative way through the workshops. They’ve outlined business plans and many have taken the step to seek assistance or consultation from supporting entities such as the Bahrain Development Bank (BDB) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO),” said Seed Managing Director Ali Al Derazi.
CIPE Acting Deputy Director and Regional Director for Middle East and Africa programs Abdulwahab Alkebsi told ceremony participants that he felt Bahrain was well placed to succeed in its goals of diversifying its economy. Alkebsi said, “I have been traveling to Bahrain for nearly 20 years and have always found its citizens to be very hard working and with a spirit of ingenuity. I look forward to returning repeatedly in the coming years to see how this new generation pursues their aspirations.”
As a non-profit institute based in Washington DC, CIPE strengthens free market principles around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform. CIPE provides management assistance, practical experience, and financial support to local private sector organizations all over the world to strengthen their capacity to advocate and implement economic reforms.