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Nominations open for Bahrain Award for Entrepreneurship

The Bahrain Award for Entrepreneurship, the largest entrepreneurship award in the Kingdom, being held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, First Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of Bahrain Economic Development Board is officially open for nominations and applications.

Launched to coincide with the Bahrain Noor El Ain Festival, the Award is designed to support Bahraini businesses and recognise the efforts and contributions of businesses and entrepreneurs to Bahrain’s economy.

With voting remaining open until January 25 2015, businesses will have the opportunity to both apply as entrepreneurs or nominate entrepreneurs of distinction for the five award categories: Micro-Enterprise of the Year (micro enterprises and productive families), Startup of the Year (companies established for less than 36 months), Entrepreneur of the Year (SMEs), Entrepreneur of the Year (Large Companies), and Sustainable Business Award.

In addition to these categories, there will be a People’s Choice Award that will follow a different mechanism that takes the public vote into consideration. This comes alongside the Lifetime Achievement Award, which is aimed at long-standing entrepreneurial pioneers.

While businesses will initiate the nominations made on behalf of a third-party or through direct application, a panel of judges will evaluate applicants based on their enterprise growth, economic impact, optimisation of talent and diversity, leadership and innovation, business responsibility and entrepreneurial spirit. The diverse panel of well-respected judges will comprise of high-profile Bahraini figures and some of the region’s most well-known entrepreneurs and business figures.

Speaking about the Bahrain Award for Entrepreneurship, Tamkeen Chairman and Acting Chief Executive Shaikh Mohammed Bin Essa Al Khalifa said: “As part of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, First Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of Bahrain Economic Development Board vision to ensure the continued development and growth of the Kingdom, the Bahrain Award for Entrepreneurship forms the perfect opportunity to recognise key achievements and efforts made by Bahrain’s passionate entrepreneurs that have helped in further expanding Bahrain’s economy and infrastructure.”

The Bahrain Award for Entrepreneurship is done in partnership comprising Tamkeen, the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), the Bahrain Development Bank; and Knowledge Advisors BCCI, EY Bahrain and the Arab International Center for Entrepreneurship and Investment Training – United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) Investment & Technology Promotion Office in Bahrain.

HE Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications and Acting Chief Executive of the EDB, stated, “Bahrain has long been a country that has valued entrepreneurship and innovative thinking, which we believe is a great tool towards promoting further diversification of our economy as well as improving the overall standard of living and the generation of quality jobs and investment in the Kingdom. These awards will help us identify and acknowledge a generation of innovators, who will grow to be leaders in their fields, and will help place Bahrain on the regional and global map of innovation.”

In support of the Awards, Shaikh Hesham bin Mohamed Al Khalifa, Deputy General Manager – Development Services, BDB commended the initiative: “The Bahrain Award for Entrepreneurship is the first collaborative initiative of its kind in Bahrain, and is absolutely key in supporting our continued efforts to grow small and medium businesses in the Kingdom.”

Eng. Nabeel Al Mahmood, BCCI Chief Executive, praised the recognition the award grants to entrepreneurs and said, “The BCCI is proud to be supporting this unique initiative. We believe that this award will contribute in motivating and creating more business innovation, and will also show that the Kingdom’s appreciation of Bahrain’s business community.”

Dr. Hashem Hussein from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation said, (UNIDO) “UNIDO is proud to join as a partner of the Bahrain Award for Entrepreneurship, as the award’s objectives align well with UNIDO’s goals to grow investments, income diversification and in creating youth employment opportunities.”

Knowledge Advisor and Office Managing Partner of EY Bahrain -Essa Al Jowder commented on the importance of such an award, “Entrepreneurs provide one of the main engines of growth in any healthy economy. They act as vital agents of change by developing new products and services, implementing more efficient production methods, and creating new business models and industries. They generate jobs, support local communities and build prosperous societies.”

Information on the Bahrain Award for Entrepreneurship, including the eligibility criteria, evaluation criteria, and application forms is available on the Bahrain Award for Entrepreneurship Website on or “the award section” on the Bahrain Noor El Ain website