Looking back at its achievements in 2021, the Ministry of International Cooperation has prioritized entrepreneurship, innovation and digitalization to future-proof Egypt’s economy through Egypt Ventures as well as international partnerships, whether multilateral or bilateral development partners.
Reflecting its commitment to support entrepreneurship, the Ministry noted that Egypt Ventures’ direct and indirect investments during 2021 were worth around 92 million pounds. The Egyptian government is also rising as a regional center for innovation and entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa, with 75 million pounds direct investments in start-up companies, in addition to 17 million pounds indirect investments in business accelerators.
Two accelerators that are affiliated with Egypt Ventures witnessed 60 startups graduate from Falak Startups, with a value of 31 million pounds, while 23 companies graduated from EFG-EV Fintech, with a value of 35 million pounds in 2021.
Last June, the Ministry of International Cooperation and Egypt Ventures launched the Generation Next forum under the patronage of Prime Minister Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, with the participation of more than 400 representatives of entrepreneurs and startups, as well as multilateral development partners.
The forum highlighted the government’s commitment to cultivating a thriving environment for entrepreneurs and emerging companies and building the competitiveness of the economy, which drives GDP growth.
Last April, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation received Odile Renaud-Basso, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, on her first visit to Egypt, where she paid a visit to Falak Startups, which was launched by Egypt Ventures and serves as a prime example of development partners’ support for entrepreneurs, and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.
In 2021, the United Nations Development Programme supported the establishment of 233 start-up companies in technology, in addition to providing support to 247 small and medium-sized companies in various stages of growth, in cooperation with the government, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and UN Women to enable startups to sustain and grow, in addition to enhancing women’s technological skills.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and the Egyptian FinTech Association launched a partnership to promote entrepreneurship in financial technology. Through this partnership, the International Finance Corporation is working with the Egyptian FinTech Association to improve the business environment for entrepreneurs and conduct market research and analysis to identify the challenges and obstacles faced by entrepreneurs in financial technology, in addition to launching awareness campaigns for relevant stakeholders.
This cooperation is part of the International Finance Corporation’s Fintech Stimulus Program, which is supported by the Dutch government, and comes as part of the IFC’s work strategy in Egypt, the Middle East and North Africa to support innovation and address funding and expertise gaps in the early stages of entrepreneurship.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development launched the Youth Business Programme (YIB), in cooperation with the National Bank of Egypt, the Youth Skills Programme, the Ministry of International Cooperation, and the Central Bank of Egypt to support entrepreneurship in addition to all micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
Al-Mashat also participated in the “Techne Summit” for Technology and Entrepreneurship, which was held in October 2021 in Alexandria, with the participation of officials from the government and the private sector, entrepreneurs, experts and representatives of development partners, as well as an exhibition of startups that includes about 800 startups.
Regarded as MENA region’s largest innovation and entrepreneurship summit, Al-Mashat participated in the “RiseUp” Summit, which saw the participation of more than 10,000 visitors, 150 startups and more than 150 speakers, including entrepreneurs, technology and experts from all over the world.
The ongoing portfolio of the Ministry includes 36 projects in innovation, digitization and entrepreneurship, which contribute to achieving 11 sustainable development goals, with a total development funding of $1 billion, representing 3.8% of the ministry’s development financing portfolio.