By Modupe Gbadeyanka The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector arm of IDB Group, in partnership with Ibdar Bank, Bahrain-based wholesale Islamic Investment bank and Labour Fund \u201cTamkeen\u201d as part of the investment committee has announced the launch of the Bahrain SME fund. The Bahrain SME Fund is a Shariah compliant mezzanine private equity Fund which will invest in Bahrain\u2019s Small and Medium Enterprises (SME\u2019s). The Fund will target SME\u2019s with high growth potential in consumer, industrial, ICT, education and healthcare sectors, as well as sectors experiencing dynamic change, or where there are clearly attractive investment opportunities. Dr Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi Chief Executive of Tamkeen commented: \u201cTamkeen continuously works on providing support solution to private sector enterprises throughout their developmental stages in order to make the private sector the key engine of the economic development in the Kingdom of Bahrain. We are pleased about this partnership with The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and Ibdar Bank. Through this partnership we aim to provide further support to enterprises in the kingdom to achieve their highest potentials.\u201d Mr Khalid Al Aboudi, Chief Executive Officer of the ICD expressed: \u201cICD has put its mission statement into practice for the SMEs sector by engaging in innovative strategies and alliances that will serve to strengthen SMEs in Middle East and North Africa, thereby enhancing the impact of socio-economic development. We are pleased to partner with Ibdar Bank and Tamkeen to launch the Bahrain SME Fund. SME support is at the center of ICD\u2019s strategy as we seek to develop the private sector as a vehicle for economic and social growth, and facilitate further prosperity in Islamic countries. The SME Funds Program, focusing on providing strategic advisory services, designing, developing, launching and managing investment vehicles with a successful track record, is also providing technical assistance to financial institutions and investee companies. The Program is not only supporting access to finance but also favoring inclusive growth with the provision of a comprehensive range of financial products and services with customized approach for each Member Country\u201d. Commenting on the announcement, Mr Ahmed Al-Rayes, Chief Investment Officer of Ibdar Bank said: \u201cSMEs are the main drivers for growth and economic diversification and the backbone of any successful and sustainable economy and contribute significantly to the development and growth of efficiency, particularly to innovation, job generation, and international competitiveness. The creation of this Fund is aligned with the Bank\u2019s mission to support Bahrain\u2019s economic diversification through private sector growth which will spur innovation and job creation.\u201d The Fund will add immense value to Bahrain as a tool for SME growth and development where 90 percent of Bahrain enterprises are SMEs and their contribution accounts for about 30 percent of the Kingdom\u2019s GDP.