Manama, Bahrain: The National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) announced the launch of a series of awareness and educational sessions as part of their newly launched “Financial Literary” program created to spread financial literacy within the Kingdom as part of NBB’s ongoing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives.
The first session was in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (MOICT) and was specifically catered towards the Kingdom’s Commercial and Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sectors.
As NBB makes ongoing strides towards implementing more ESG methodology in its everyday business practices throughout the year, the Bank has launched a series of initiatives to showcase its support for local businesses in the Kingdom.
One of many targets is to enhance the SME ecosystem by providing comprehensive and extensive sessions that showcase and spread awareness of financial literacy and its significance within the ever-growing industry.
The first session, held virtually by NBB, and titled, ‘SME Classification Certificate’, took place on July 12, with the participation of Assistant Undersecretary for Industrial Development at MOICT, Dr. Khaled F. Alalawi, and Mr. Arif Janahi, Head of Commercial & SMEs at NBB, moderated by NBB’s Head of Corporate Communications, Hisham Abu Alfateh.
The session covered a number of key beneficial topics such as SME certification, eligibility, the application process, benefits, as well as sharing current success stories and future plans. The session discussed the possible ways to align MOICT’s initiatives with those available at NBB for the benefit of the SME sector.
It also discussed ideas for future initiatives between MOICT and the banking sector for the benefit of the said sector. The session ended with a Q&A slot for attendees and participants to raise their queries and concerns.
Mr. Khaled Fahd Al-Alawi, Assistant Undersecretary for Industrial Development, pointed out that the involvement of His Excellency, Mr. Zayed bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, as Chair on the Council for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises, further cements the Ministry’s interest in this sector.
The MOICT adopts five strategic SME support pillars; facilitating financing opportunities, market reach, promoting innovation, skill development, and simplifying the business environment, to reinforce the important role that the SME sector plays in the economic development of the Kingdom.
Mr. Al Alawi expressed his pleasure in collaborating with NBB, with the aim to generate positive results and raise awareness about the importance of financial culture and its pivotal role in upgrading the SME sector.
On his end, Mr. Arif Janahi, Head of Commercial & SME at NBB, said: “We are delighted to host the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism in our first session of the “Financial Literacy” programme.
This session was designed to provide necessary in-depth insight into the SME ecosystem to our employees, clients and partners. We aim to strengthen our economic environment through sound financial planning, which, in turn, will contribute to upgrading the SME ecosystem in the Kingdom.”
“NBB has always supported the growth and development of SMEs in the Kingdom through a series of financial and social initiatives, and has continuously worked towards realising the national goals outlined in the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030.
At NBB, we are committed to showcasing our long-term commitment to adopting ESG practices into our banking operations to further develop the nation’s economy and become a regional leader in the industry,” he added.
NBB remains committed to providing future initiatives that align with its ESG key pillars and positions the Bank as an industry-leader that has continuously supported the advancement of local business and SMEs within the Kingdom.