April 30, 2010

Gulf Venture Capital Association (GVCA)

Bahrain to host meet on venture capital

By Mehmood Rafique

BAHRAIN will host the first conference on venture capital to discuss the current status of venture capital and how to utilize this major source of funding to stimulate the region's small and medium-size entrepreneurs. Venture capital is considered one of the highly specialized segments of funding, or "smart capital," with an anticipated fund under management to reach $4.4 billion by the end of the year in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
At a Press conference addressed by founding committee members of the Bahrain-based Gulf Venture Capital Association (GVCA), it was noted that GVCA is a non-profit organization, launched in Bahrain last April by founding-committee members who would elect the new boards of directors and trustees at a later stage.
GVCA chairman Abdullah M. Al Subyani said that it was a strategic and very important move of the Kingdom of Bahrain to facilitate the establishment of the association. Ahmed Al Sari, Abdullah Al Alami and Imad Ghandour also addressed the press conference. Organized by the association, the conference will be held in November.
The theme of the conference will be "Building a Regional Venture Capital and Private Equity Industry." During the conference, the European Venture Capital Association will discuss ways and means to position GVCA as a major player by putting together professionals, policymakers and strategists to benefit from venture capital and high-risk funding.
"A key milestone has been achieved in the development of the region's financial sector with the recent establishment of GVCA. Formed by a consortium of prominent institutions and professionals from across the GCC, the association is a new, independent trade and industry group committed to supporting the growth of a strong venture-capital and private-equity industry within the Arabian Gulf," Al Subyani said.
"Through its formation, GVCA aims to encourage and enable appropriate laws and industry regulations, develop human resources, promote a risk-taking investment culture, provide industry statistics and facilitate networking events."
"In recent years, the Arabian Gulf has witnessed a number of significant trends, including the repatriation of capital and talent back into the region, the deregulation of several key industries, and the liberalization of markets for trade and investment and increased emphasis on promoting the private sector to the forefront of the economy. Building on these trends, GVCA is committed to playing a key role in bringing together the region's extended community of investors and entrepreneurs to focus on building venture capital into a major component of the region's financial and economic infrastructure."
Dr Oussama Tabbara, current GVCA vice-president, said: "The association will launch several regional programmes this year including a live video-conference series to promote learning and networking across nine GCC cities as well as a number of training courses, workshops and road shows tailored to serve the needs of the GCC's emerging venture-capital industry."
Marwan Tabbara, a member of the founding committee and current treasurer, said: "GVCA has launched its website at www.gulfvca.org that includes additional information about the organization, its committees and an online registration form."
"The conference will address key issues related to building a vibrant venture-capital and private-equity industry in the region," Imad Ghandour said.
The conference will also include structured interactive sessions designed to address key challenges facing venture capital and private equity in the region.

Gulf Financial Insider - GFI
By David Beckett
Networking ideas to create innovation

The first conference on 'Building a regional Venture Capital and Private Equity industry' organised by the Gulf Venture Capital Association (GVCA) will be held in Bahrain from November 15-17, 2005.
This forward thinking trade and industry association attracts investors, conglomerates and business entrepreneurs with the purpose of sharing ideas and experiences in the development of a risk-taking investment culture.
The primary role of the organisation is to focus on investment trends, develop regulations and analysis skills through organised conferences, industry focused forums and educational seminars.
"We are very excited about this first conference and we have invited key industry speakers who we believe will inspire innovation and encourage participants to interact with a 'coffee shop' approach to sharing and analysing new ideas on investment," said Abdullah Al Subyani, president of the GVC. GFI will be supporting the progress of this pioneering association.

Photo caption
(from left to right) Abdulla Al Subyani, Ahmed Al Sari, Abdulla AlAlami and Imad Ghandour

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