Bahrain Excels in Ratio Of Female Startup Founders
Bahrain is one of the top 10 startup ecosystems with the largest share of female founders, according to the 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER), launched at the recent TNW conference in Amsterdam. Described as ‘the world’s most comprehensive and widely-read research on startups’, the report is produced by StartUp Genome in partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Congress.
With 18% of its startups founded by women, Bahrain topped even internationally recognized startup hubs such as Silicon Valley (16%) and London (15%). Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board said: “With both female founders and women taking leadership roles throughout the ecosystem, Bahrain is a dynamic and diverse market at the head of new trends that are shaping the way society and business operates.”
Dr. Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi, Chief Executive of Tamkeen (Bahrain’s Labour Fund) pointed out one of Bahrain’s key competitive advantages in the region, which lies in its firm belief in the importance of women as an active player in shaping Bahrain’s economic future.
Bahrain has a long history of women in senior leadership positions. Currently, a group of female leaders in FinTech is helping to steer the country’s FinTech strategy. Leading female Bahraini startup founders include Hala Sulaiman and Ameera AlQubaiti – co-founders of Alrawi, a successful audiobook startup and [email protected] Global 3.0 People’s Choice 2018 Winner. Furthermore, Bahrain’s Al Waha Fund of Funds, a $100 million fund set up by the Bahrain Development Bank, has an all-female leadership.
As for FinTech, in 2018 Bahrain launched FinTech Bay, the Middle East’s leading FinTech hub. Interestingly, it’s estimated that more than 60% of computer science students at the University of Bahrain in 2018 were women.