The Bahrain International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW-Bahrain) was formed in 2012 by a group of Bahraini women leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners. Led by Her Excellency Shaikha Hind bint Salman Al Khalifa, who was elected President of BPW-Bahrain, the initial 12-strong Board of Directors consisted of all the founding members.

BPW-Bahrain follows the mandate of its parent organization, BPW-International, in helping to unite business and professional women across the Kingdom, regionally across the Middle East and the rest of the world. BPW-Bahrain focuses on helping to create economic independence for women by encouraging them to develop their professional and leadership potential. Mentoring plays an important part in BPW-Bahrain’s initiatives as women – and men, along with youth – are provided with training and education and are assisted as they learn the importance of being able to help others not just in the country, but regionally and internationally.

This falls in line with the National Plan for the Advancement of Bahraini women, launched in 2013 by the Supreme Council for Women with the blessings of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa. Her Royal Highness, Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, the King’s wife, is the President of the Supreme Council for Women, which serves as an advisory body on women’s affairs in the Kingdom to His Majesty, the King. H.R.H. Princess Sabeeka has been one of the biggest supporters of BPW-Bahrain and the organization has benefited immensely from her calm, guiding influence.

Governed by its 12-member Board under the inspiring leadership of H.E. Shaikha Hind, BPW-Bahrain works proactively to help eliminate discrimination against women and creates non-profit initiatives that allow women to gain economic independence. The organization encourages the development of leadership skills in women – and men – so that they are able to effectively communicate the views of business and professional women to other businesses, civil society and governments.

Along with promoting cooperation and networking amongst business and professional women, a major component of BPW-Bahrain’s outreach is the direct influence it has on aspiring business women and entrepreneurs. To achieve that end, since BPW-Bahrain’s inception, the organization has provided hands-on assistance in the form of incubators for start-ups, not just in the IT sector but also other fields such as jewellery design, etc. Artists are also encouraged – in short, BPW-Bahrain’s range of support extends across the entire gamut, or spectrum, of businesses.

Over the decade just past, BPW-Bahrain has been able to help many individuals, businesses and companies owned and run by women – as well as some by men – to achieve their full potential by leveraging support to their initiatives in the form of incubators and other hands-on assistance. Since the organization expects to be able to do even more in this new decade, in March 2019, BPW-Bahrain moved to its current headquarters in Al Andalus Park. The building houses 19 business incubators, a training hall, an internet café and a showroom.