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EY report reveals dynamism among young Bahrainis

A recent study by global advisors Ernst & Young (EY) shows that young people in Bahrain have the region’s strongest entrepreneurial spirit.
Two key facts from the report, prepared for the Jeddah Economic Forum in March 2014, confirm that Bahrain is driving the region’s most diverse, private-sector-led employment market and knowledge-based economy. In fact, the report cites strategic development of the private sector as key to long-term sustainable growth. The report asserts that:
  • Firstly, young people in Bahrain want to enter the private sector – particularly financial services and ICT, but also healthcare, engineering and public relations – in stark contrast to other markets, where most are satisfied to work for the government.
  • Secondly, 70% of the young Bahrainis interviewed would set up their own business. This compares to 35% in the UAE and just 16% in Qatar.
Given that the Kingdom’s population has a significant proportion of young people, with around 100,000 due to join the talent pool over the next ten years, Bahrain is in an extremely strong position both in terms of employment and attractiveness to investors.
Education – the edge
Why such a difference in attitude? We believe it is down to education. Dating back to 1919, Bahrain has the Gulf’s longest-established education system. Today, following a massive increase in the number of universities, young Bahraini men and women have the readiest access to educational opportunities – with the quality of their education assured by the Higher Education Council and the Quality Assurance Authority for Education and Training.
How Bahrain continues to help

As the EY report suggests, young, educated Bahrainis are comfortable with the intricacies of setting up a business. In this respect, they can expect considerable back-up. Tamkeen (formerly the Labour Fund) provides ongoing education and training, and gives established SMEs valuable enterprise support.