Visa, CIB launch She's Next programme to empower women in Egypt

Ahram Online , Monday 2 Oct 2023

Global digital payments company Visa announced a new cooperation with Commercial International Bank (CIB) to launch the She's Next programme to empower women-owned businesses in Egypt, according to a statement by Visa on Monday.

Supporting women entrepreneurs
Supporting women entrepreneurs


The initiative aims to support Egyptian women-owned small businesses by providing funding, customized coaching, and mentorship, the statement added.

Female entrepreneurs can apply through 26 October.

The top three winners will each receive $10,000, while the top five will get a one-year training programme.

In addition, the first 20 applicants will receive a one-year skills improvement programme from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Visa's programme aims to empower women in Egypt and remove obstacles they face in launching businesses, as well as facilitate access to digital and other technologies.

The statement highlighted the challenges that Egyptian women entrepreneurs face, including unequal funding distribution, limited access to capital, weak digital infrastructure, and lack of mentorship.

"She’s Next underscores this vital digitalization shift, embraces the potential of women entrepreneurs and enables them to thrive with support and innovation," said Malak El-Baba, Visa's country manager for Egypt.

Furthermore, the She's Next initiative aligns with CIB's strategy focused on encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises and supporting female-led companies, noted Hany El-Dieb, Head of SME Business at CIB.

Visa's survey, the statement went on, showed that around 77 percent of women in Egypt are ready to fund businesses through their personal savings.

During 2022, many steps also were taken to break down barriers faced by female entrepreneurs in Egypt such as the launching of a $1 billion fund by a British multinational bank (HSBC) to finance female-led businesses.

In line with Egyptian efforts towards women’s Economic and Social empowerment, USAID launched in July 2022 a programme that aimed to provide 200,000 women in seven governorates with increased job opportunities and expand financial inclusion.

In late 2022, Visa pledged to invest $1 billion in Africa between 2023 and 2027 to empower small- and women-led entrepreneurship across the continent, including Egypt.

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