Entrepreneurs in Egypt – especially those dealing in the SME sector – are in for a pleasant surprise as the World Bank announces a new project called Catalyzing Entrepreneurship for Job Creation.
As part of this new initiative, the World Bank will be investing $200 million in the Egyptian SMEs with the vision of creating job opportunities for youngsters.
Around $145 million of the total investment will be funneled through non-bank financial institutions, says an official communiqué from the World Bank. That capital will be mainly used to grant loans to small businesses – especially those led by youth, women, and first-time borrowers across the country.
Additionally, the initiative will also provide funds to various coaching and mentorship platforms to help up-and-coming entrepreneurs to develop the skills and insights necessary to succeed in their ventures.
Worth noting here is that close to 25% of the total investment – roughly $50 million – will be allocated to venture capital funds, angel groups, investment firms, and accelerators.
“The project also aims to increase the supply of seed, early-stage, and venture capital going to riskier and innovative startups and young small and medium enterprises with high potential for growth and job creation,” said the top international financial institution.
Clarifying that investors are also eligible to apply for funding, World Bank added: “A call for proposals will be issued, with international players encouraged to apply, and the funds distributed through a transparent and competitive selection process. The aim is to leverage the technical capacity and know-how of the private sector in investing these funds.”
Lauding the new initiative, Dr. Sahar Nasr, Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation and Egypt’s Representative on the World Bank’s Board of Governors, stated that the forthcoming investment will go a long way in improving the livelihoods of many Egyptians, thereby making invaluable contribution to the country’s economy.