The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) – the Kingdom’s investment promotion agency – has entered into a proactive initiative with GrowIN Portugal, a platform that helps entrepreneurs incorporate, fund, expand and move their start-ups to Portugal. The agreement will serve to promote cooperation between the two organisations, particularly with regard to supporting start-ups globally during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic by connecting the two start-up ecosystems.
EDB and GrowIN Portugal will collaborate on the promotion of key events and opportunities in their respective markets; promote opportunities for developing the start-up markets in their respective countries; support start-ups by arranging introductory meetings with key ecosystem stakeholders in both countries; and exchange information on the evolution of their respective start-up markets.
“This timely initiative will provide some much-needed support for not just Bahraini and Portuguese start-ups, but start-ups from around the world. The ongoing crisis has hit almost all economic sectors, including the start-up industry, and across the globe, we’re seeing an unprecedented slowdown. By connecting and thereby bolstering our two ecosystems, Startup Bahrain and GrowIN Portugal are providing a lifeline for innovative start-ups seeking a supportive environment in which they are able to empower the digital economy in their respective countries,” said Pakiza Abdulrahman, head of startups, Bahrain EDB.
“Start-ups need support now more than ever before, so we are delighted to be collaborating with Bahrain EDB to do just that. Bahrain and Portugal each offer supportive ecosystems complete with funding support, highly-skilled labour forces, cutting-edge digital infrastructure and world-class accelerators. Moreover, we each sit on the doorstep of major markets Europe and MENA, respectively. By combining forces, combining ecosystems, we can provide a global space to accelerate start-ups from around the world, and ensure innovation is not hampered by the global crisis,” added Anas El Arras, CEO, GrowIN Portugal.
The signing of the agreement follows on from a Bahrain EDB delegation to Lisbon in October 2019, where it announced a fast-track setup process for start-ups globally looking to take advantage of the business environment and a well-connected start-up community through the Startup Bahrain initiative. With its flexible regulatory environment, availability of multiple accelerators, access to funding opportunities, openness to 100% foreign ownership, world-class physical and digital infrastructure and some of the lowest set-up and operating costs in the region.
Hyper-connected Bahrain is increasingly becoming the destination of choice for companies from all over the world seeking to access the growing $1.5 trillion Gulf markets. The island Kingdom is keen to attract more Portuguese companies and start-ups.