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We ‘re Witnessing Leapfrog Developments In Entrepreneurship Sector In Egypt – Ismail

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Dr. Ayman Ismail, an associate professor at the American University in Cairo has said that Egypt is currently experiencing an unprecedented growth and development in the entrepreneurship sector.

Dr. Ismail disclosed this in Cairo while speaking during the launch of the Entrepreneurship in Egypt report, which he authored.

The report which is entitled, “Entrepreneurship in Egypt: An Ecosystem Overview 2022”, was launched by the African Development Bank’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab in conjunction with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.

The report sheds light on the potential of the Egyptian entrepreneurial ecosystem and its stakeholders. It also documents the rapid evolution of Egypt’s start-up ecosystem amid strong entrepreneurial sentiment, particularly among the youth.

Among its highlights are that interest and awareness about entrepreneurship have remained consistently high over the past five years; a survey undertaken by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor found that intention to launch an entrepreneurial venture is more than two times higher than the global average in Egypt than in other countries.

He produced the report, which updates an earlier version to provide a current mapping of the main stakeholders in the ecosystem across four key areas: entrepreneurial awareness programs, incubation and acceleration, access to finance, and entrepreneurship training and education.

“We are witnessing leapfrog developments in the entrepreneurship sector in Egypt. Start-ups are well-perceived in Egypt and many youth are interested in being part of the ecosystem; the government is committed to support the ecosystem; there is a multitude of incubation and acceleration programs, and investors are showing increasing interest in these businesses.

“However, there is still room to improve and fill in the gaps that exist. This report provides an overview of the ecosystem and how it can be improved”, he told the participants from a number of countries during a virtual event.

Dr. Ismail, who is also the Abdul Latif Jameel Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship at the university’s School of Business, provided recommendations to further bolster the country’s start-up environment, such as improving access to finance, in particular pre-seed and seed funding, for new ventures; and inclusion of courses on entrepreneurship in higher education curricula.

Similarly, Head of Office for International Cooperation in the Embassy of Switzerland to Egypt, Dr. Valérie Liechti said: “We are pleased to see the report highlighting the opportunity to reap the entrepreneurial energy in the country, in order to participate in regional and global value chains, to create employment, and to drive the economy forward.

“Yet, the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Egypt faces many challenges. This is why Switzerland is investing in capacity building, operational reach and sustainability of enterprise support organizations in Egypt and across Africa, to better support start-ups on their growth journey”, she added.

In his remarks, the African Development Bank’s Officer in Charge for North Africa, Abdourahmane Diaw re-affirmed the institution’s support for job creation through entrepreneurship, adding that the Bank has been actively supporting micro, small and medium enterprises in Egypt for the past two decades.

“Through the Bank’s on-going entrepreneurship support projects, including Tanmia wa Tatweer and the Enhancement of the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem, we are witnessing the evolution of the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Egyptian start-ups are solving societal challenges, creating jobs, mobilizing investments, and placing Egypt on the global map for entrepreneurship development”, he stressed.

In recent years, Egypt’s start-up sector has blossomed, disrupting a number of sub-sectors including public transport, alternative and renewable energy, agribusiness, and e-commerce. In 2021 alone, Egyptian start-ups raised $ 491 million.


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