(Manama) – Under the patronage of the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Mr. Zayed R. Alzayani, Undersecretary of Industry Affairs Mr. Osama Alarrayedh opened the third forum on “Women Entrepreneurship & Innovation” which is organized by the Bahrain Businesswomen’s and in strategic partnership with Tamkeen & UNIDO. The Forum coincides with the Global Entrepreneurship Week that is celebrated internationally to acknowledge the contribution of innovative entrepreneurs to the society and the economy.
On this occasion Undersecretary of Industry Affairs praised the important role of Bahrain Businesswomen’s Society in empowering and supporting women entrepreneurs in promoting the startups as well as businesses across all sectors.
He added that the global rise of women entrepreneurs and the role of innovation in these successful enterprises has been a subject of research and discussion in almost all major economies of the world. Some researchers have identified this phenomenon as the fundamental economic force that reshapes the society in developing as well as developed world. As per a document quoted in Harvard Business Review, women-owned entities in the formal sector represent approximately 37% of enterprises globally; a market worthy of attention by businesses and policy makers alike.
He noted that women entrepreneurs, compared to their male colleagues, face certain additional challenges like lack of visibility & access to support networks, cultural acceptance and lack of experience in handling external business environment yet many successful women entrepreneurs have overcome these challenges through innovative practices mainly using information and communication technologies that can enable marketing channels, collection of customer information and efficiencies in the business processes. Information and communication technologies can play a major role in allowing women entrepreneurs to stay ahead of competition and be innovative in their processes, products and marketing practices.
A study conducted by UNCTAD, provides evidence that the drivers of entrepreneurship and innovation among growth-oriented women owned firms stem from a desire to fulfill a dream, realize a passion or seek greater independence and often innovate to address a social need in their communities. Women were more likely than men to seek business training and educational opportunities. Women entrepreneurs also seemed to be more active than their male counterparts in using ICT tools including social media networking to market products and services. These tools include Face book, Twitter, LinkedIn and other technology-enabled business networking instruments.
The women entrepreneurs in Bahrain are much better placed with several avenues to finance their businesses through the banking or angel network. We also have the best ICT infrastructure in the region.
Developing a vibrant and dynamic business sector requires motivated entrepreneurs who seek opportunities, challenge themselves to succeed, and are able to take full advantage of the business development support in an enabling entrepreneurial ecosystem. Our entrepreneurial eco system is one of the best and several women led Bahraini enterprises have made their mark not only in the region but also beyond.