British Ambassador John Casson stands at the entrance to the British embassy in Cairo, Egypt, 2014 (Photo: AP)
The British embassy in Cairo this week launched a new initiative called “StartEgypt,” with a grant of EGP 47 million, which aims to provide young Egyptian entrepreneurs with the training and financing to get their businesses off the ground.
In an official statement released on Thursday, the embassy said the initiative was powered by the country's flagship and regional accelerator programme Flat6Labs, and in partnership with World Bank Group member International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Held at Downtown's entrepreneurs' hub the GrEEk Campus, the initiative was launched with its three themes of “Ideate”, “Build” and “Accelerate”.
According to the embassy, the themes were all designed "to form a comprehensive programme that will support Egyptian entrepreneurs from their initial idea stages all the way through to developing and scaling market-ready business solutions or products."
"With IFC and Flat6Labs we will to give Egypt’s young entrepreneurs the finance, the advice and the exposure to turn Egyptian ideas into international solutions, and make them the champions of the future economy of Egypt,” Ambassador John Casson said, describing the initiative as a "new pillar in the partnership UK is building with Egypt."
The IFC country manager in Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, Walid Labadi, said Egypt was full of passionate, technically savvy young entrepreneurs whose ideas could shape the future of the country.
“With help from the United Kingdom and Flat6Labs, Start Egypt will provide not only the financial support entrepreneurs need to get their ideas off the ground, but also the hands-on experience that is crucial to growing a start-up," Labadi said.
According to the embassy, the newly launched initiative will start by touring Egypt over the next few months to offer Egyptian entrepreneurs a variety of activities and workshops including start-up competitions, hackathons, ideation sessions, workshops, impact research and video documentary series.
Following the roadshow, selected entrepreneurs will complete a six-month incubation period featuring a training programme that aims to turn their initial business ideas into more advanced and market-ready businesses.
With grants of up to $25,000 per company, the entrepreneurs at the final stage will then work within social impact sectors under Flat6Labs Cairo's accelerator programme.
The programme is now accepting applications from entrepreneurs via its website.