The British Council announced in a conference on Sunday the launch a EGP 30 million programme to support social enterprise and the creative economy sector in Egypt.
Called Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies, the two-year programme will stimulate sectors of the economy that mix culture, creativity, technology and entrepreneurship by supporting projects that improve the lives of marginalised members of society.
Egypt was chosen alongside four other countries: Brazil, Indonesia, Pakistan, and South Africa, to take part in the initiative.
The project will operate on three main levels of intervention.
The first will bring together key government actors, national institutions, academia and relevant organisations to work towards promoting the creative economy and social enterprise sector.
The second will work with social and creative businesses and organisations to understand and develop the market in Egypt and the third will provide grants to individuals to kick-start projects.
The programme will provide funding for projects that empower women and girls, foster youth employment, support people with disabilities and engage with other marginalised groups.
During the launching the project, Ahmed Fouad, the head of Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies at the British Council, said, “The creative economy has been described as the engine of the modern economy. As we move away from oil as a driver for economic development, some have described creativity as the next fuel for the economy in the future.”
“By supporting young, creative and social entrepreneurs and working with policymakers and intermediaries to create an ecosystem in which they can thrive, our programme takes a whole-system approach that will help mitigate poverty, inequality and joblessness for young people, promote women’s empowerment and support marginalised groups,” Fouad added.
The programme will collaborate with the governmental and business sectors to better understand the state of the social and creative economy, the barriers to its development and to offer recommendations to support long-term, inclusive growth.
During the conference, Acting Director of the British Council in Egypt Alex Lambert stated, “By launching this new programme in our 80th year in Egypt, the British Council can demonstrate how our work is still extremely relevant to Egyptians in the 21st century,” adding, “This programme aims to build on our previous projects in the social and creative sectors over the past years, as well as building on existing initiatives carried out by other organisations and partners in these sectors.”
“We are offering expertise, funding and partnerships with Britain to help stimulate exciting new economic areas in Egypt. By focusing on creativity and marginalised groups, we continue to demonstrate the core values of the British Council’s work as a cultural organisation that focuses on people and opportunities,” Lambert explained.
Founder of El-Sawy Culturewheel Mohamed El-Sawy present at the conference (Photo: courtesy of The British Council Media Office)