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Egypt's Target Is to Register 270 New Start-Up in 2021

9 months 2 days ago

Egypt is one of the top countries in the Middle East and North Africa region in terms of investment in startups. Egypt ranks second place in the number of investment deals and third place in terms of the value of these deals in the first half of 2021 between the countries of the region with more than $123 million. In addition, it recently got the second highest investment value over the past July at $70.7 million across 19 transactions, illustrating the huge growth of entrepreneurship and investment in startups; With a population of more than 100 million.

In this context, Eng. Amr Mahfouz, the CEO of Egypt's Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and Assistant Minister for Growth and Development, said “Entrepreneurship and startup sector is important in driving economic growth, creating unconventional jobs and providing innovative solutions to societal challenges, as well as attracting investors and venture capital. It is, therefore, one of the main providers of foreign currency in the Egyptian economy. We, in ITIDA, are looking forward to registering more than 270 new startups in Egypt this year. We also expect that startups will attract investment finance that crosses the $250 million.”

“Foreign investment in Egyptian startups accounts for 32% of total investment and is among the highest in the region, reflecting the confidence of foreign investors and capital venture capital in the Entrepreneurship ecosystem and Egyptian Tech startups,” added Mahfouz.

In a special statement to Wamda, Mahfouz emphasized that ITIDA is currently working on a comprehensive five-year strategy in collaboration with a global company, which includes four business hubs: enabling and facilitating an entrepreneurial environment, bridging the financing gap, reaching global markets, developing and refining specialized technical skills.

Mega Innovation hub

Eng. Mahfouz added “We are currently preparing the launch of the Mega Innovation Hub, which will be based in the Sultan Hussein Palace in Cairo and will be managed entirely by a global operator. We have also equipped the first innovation center specializing in the manufacture of compact automotive software and electronics design and will be based in the city of knowledge in the new administrative capital. ITIDA also injects investment aimed at fostering and embracing ideas through many programs like Tiec Entrepreneurship Accelerator program of the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre (TIEC) of ITDA.”

Entrepreneurship Culture at Universities

As for university entrepreneurship training plans, he explained that through the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre (TIEC), they are implementing several programs for university students to train them on entrepreneurial skills, including the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Capacity Building Program for students and graduates (InnovEgypt). This program started in 2013 and was designed based on global studies to include entrepreneurial education in university curricula before and after graduation. This confirms the Government's support for broad-based education and training in innovation and entrepreneurship, through the establishment of student communities of university students and graduate in different provinces.

On the impact of digital transformation projects on startups in Egypt, he stressed that there was a positive impact on them in parallel with the pandemic. Together, they have created unprecedented momentum in Egypt and the world, drawing attention to all sectors that depend on digital technology, which in turn has helped the emergence of many tech startups and created an additional incentive for innovation.

As for the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Egyptian startups, he explained that its impact on startups had been mixed. Some of them had had positive effects on them and had experienced growth, such as e-commerce and fintech startups, which had flourished so much during the pandemic period. ITIDA, also, has not forgotten startups that have been affected by the pandemic. It has allocated dedicated support to startups as part of the "export subsidies" program to help them overcome the crisis. Approximately 70 million Egyptian pounds have been disbursed to around 131 startups.

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