Egypt’s Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, in collaboration with Facebook and Rise Up, announced on Thursday the launch of the ‘SMEs Business Bot’, a platform that aims to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
The platform is the first of its kind in the MENA region.
Facebook said it is keen on working with the planning ministry and Rise Up to identify the needs of the SMEs community in Egypt and adapt the platform accordingly.
Rise Up will manage the initiative with its considerable expertise and knowledge of the system and requirements of SMEs. Rise Up said it is committed to providing the bot with the educational content of start-ups and ambitious entrepreneurs, guided by its seven main pillars.
Meanwhile, the planning ministry is expected to play a vital role through feeding the platform with various available initiatives, such as financing and education for SMEs in Egypt.
The aim of the project is to provide information and resources that support start-ups on different fronts, such as providing financial support or business support schemes to cope with the COVID-19 crisis as well as providing them with the directions for capacity-building.
Hala El-Said, the planning minister, explained that the bot is one of the mechanisms for promoting a culture of entrepreneurship, boosting SMEs, and supporting youth's projects.
“The Ministry of Planning and Economic Development has continuously sought to provide mechanisms to support the culture of entrepreneurship, aiming to create business incubators through the Project Rowad 2030, which was launched by the ministry to promote a culture of self-employment, foster the thinking of young people, extract creative ideas from them, and strengthen their belief in their ability to develop ideas and projects that will contribute to the economic development of the state and even to the creation of employment”, said the minister.
She added that the launch of the platform was an important step to support digital transformation and activate modern technology mechanisms.
The platform would enable the SMEs community to receive the most relevant advice and recommendations to make decisions for their firms, with an emphasis on new and innovative avenues to guide them in the Middle East.
“Small enterprises are currently in the survival phase. Small enterprises that operate digitally are flexible, and we are committed to providing tools and resources that will enable SMEs to drive economic growth, create jobs and strengthen communities throughout the Arab Republic of Egypt, as part of our local initiative,” said Ramzi Shahadi, the CEO of the MENA region at Facebook.
“The Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, Rise Up, and Facebook are partnering to provide a programme of detailed recommendations and guidance to help companies that form the backbone of our economy get back on their feet.”
Meanwhile, Abdel-Hamid Sharara, the founder of Rise Up, noted that the business bot will serve as a reliable source of information and guidance to assist start-ups at each stage, linking them to the most appropriate resources needed for progress and growth.
The public can access the bot by clicking on the following link: https://m.me/MPEDEGYPT