Hope Ventures, the investment arm of Hope Fund and producers of the entrepreneurship-themed reality television show, Beban, has announced the conclusion of its second season, whereby entrepreneurs pitched for equity investment in front of a panel of regional investors which aired on Bahrain TV, AlRai TV, Dubai TV, and the region’s first and biggest video-on-demand platform, Shahid.
Beban was created in alignment with Hope Ventures’ mission of facilitating investment opportunities for promising entrepreneurs with high-potential, scalable businesses alongside strategic investors of the private sector who can accelerate these businesses’ growth into regional and international markets.
Through its first and second seasons, the show successfully shed light on a total of 62 entrepreneurs from the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates and featured 28 investors representing the private sector from Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Beban has also successfully facilitated the co-investment in local and regional opportunities by the public and private sectors alongside one another, with the total investments exceeding USD 6,260,000 raised by 30 businesses.
The show saw the provision of over USD 320k worth of perks, courtesy of 21 value-add partners across both seasons, where entrepreneurs gained access to unique business development opportunities in areas where they need the most support, such as marketing and PR, bookkeeping and accounting, and sales, among many others.
In addition to access to business perks, Beban participants benefited from the intensive training bootcamp, which was delivered by professionals and industry experts in preparation for their pitching on the show.
Beban has continued to grow and reach new arenas throughout both of its seasons, with season 2 being the first television show in the MENA region to be 100% powered by renewable energy through Hope Ventures’ partnership with The Oil and Gas Holding Company B.S.C (closed) (“nogaholding”) and the Electricity and Water Authority (EWA).
Another milestone of Beban season 2 was the introduction of ‘Beban Crowdfunding,’ an equity-based crowdfunding platform that allows viewers to invest in-real time in opportunities pitching on the show, making Beban the first interactive reality TV show in the world with an interactive crowdfunding element to it.
His Excellency Aymen bin Tawfiq Almoayed, Chairman of Hope Fund, said: “Beban is a regional investment platform that promotes cross-border deal flow, funding and exposure to strategically accelerate the growth of promising businesses by matchmaking them with regional investors who can provide access to their expertise, networks and on-the-ground knowledge to support their expansion beyond local borders.”
He added: “As a television show, Beban has left a powerful impact, educating and inspiring the pursuit of entrepreneurship while highlighting that there are no limitations to creativity and innovation once paired with hard work and dedication. Today, after Beban, who is to tell a 16-year-old girl, that she cannot be an entrepreneur, pitch her business on a television show broadcasted on the region’s biggest channels, and successfully fundraise from four strategic investors? Who is to tell a business that persisted in the LogiTech sector that it cannot have a unicorn of the same sector guide it towards international growth? Doors of opportunity are open to all, and our goal of synthesizing hope amongst the community remains to be a key objective.”
Fajer Saleh Al Pachachi, General Manager of Hope Ventures, commented: “I am thrilled to be concluding season 2 of Beban with the remarkable results and impact the show has left amongst viewers. At Hope, we commend the entrepreneurs who took part in the show, and our aim remains to facilitate strategic investment opportunities for high-potential, scalable businesses alongside the private sector through Beban. The show’s distinctiveness comes from its multiple offerings that empower entrepreneurs to scale their businesses, be it the opportunity to fundraise, regional exposure, business perks, or alternative funding through Beban’s seamless equity crowdfunding platform ‘Beban Crowdfunding.’ Having concluded season 2, we are excited to welcome the new season’s entrepreneurs and look forward to facilitating more success stories in the MENA region.”
Entrepreneurs looking for an opportunity to fundraise to register and participate in the show through the website hopefund.bh/beban, noting that applications close on April 30th.
Beban Season 2 acknowledges its sponsors; The Oil and Gas Holding Company (nogaholding), Tamkeen Bahrain, Al Areen Palace & Spa by Accor, TRACCS, BEYON Money, Zain Bahrain, GMI, Ahli United Bank, Kuwait Finance House (Bahrain), The Benefit Company, Amakin, and Al Salam Bank for their affirmed commitment to empowering Bahraini entrepreneurs and accelerating their growth through investment, knowledge, and access to business opportunities.