egypt’s core asset and main engine of growth is its youth
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Last Updated : GMT 07:25:12
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Egypt’s core asset and main engine of growth is its youth

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Arab Today, arab today Egypt’s core asset and main engine of growth is its youth

Egyptian International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr
Washington - Arab Today

Egyptian International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr said Egypt’s core asset and main engine of growth is its youth. Its total population of more than 92 million is characterized by a demographic youth bulge, with a young median age of 23.8 years, compared to 37.9 in United States and 46.8 in Germany.

In an article published by The Washington Times, the minister wrote that tapping on these underutilized resources is critical for unleashing Egypt’s vast potential. Attaining high economic growth and creating jobs through efficient utilization of Egypt’s young human capital requires the transition from an efficiency-driven economy towards a more innovation one.

This ambitious aim is based on strong fundamentals that currently exist in Egypt, which necessitate the political will that advances the right economic reforms, and creates a conducive environment with more efficient labor and financial markets, and more conducive frameworks — key ingredients that Egypt currently is heading toward.

Tech-savvy entrepreneurs and their startups focus on growth potential and consider innovation as the main driver of their ventures. On the other hand, large and long-existing corporations generally focus on profitability and long-term stability, with innovation playing a less important role.

Egypt does not only seek to attract foreign innovation-driven ventures to capture its high potential market, but it is also very keen on supporting local entrepreneurs to unleash their potential in the domestic and international markets. Based on numerous studies, an ideal entrepreneurial ecosystem fostering the growth of entrepreneurial and innovative ventures has five main pillars: access to funding, entrepreneurial culture, educational systems supporting the entrepreneurial mindset, accommodating regulatory and tax regimes, and a coordinated approach linking the public, private and voluntary sectors.

In terms of access to funding for Egyptian startups, various venture capital funds, incubators and accelerators are already operating, and new ones are currently being established — a major step forward. Startups also acquire funding through core investors from the Egyptian public and private sectors, as well as international financial institutions, including but not limited to, the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as the Egyptian American Enterprise Fund — major development partners that are keen to be part of the success story, believing in the key role of small and young firms in creating jobs for the young population in Egypt.

These funds, including the Social Fund for Development’s Venture Capital Program, Sawari Ventures, Ideavelopers, Algebra, and Flat6Labs, have thrived to invest in successful high-growth startups with local and global outreach — models the international community is proud of. Other examples, include Fawry, a leading payment processesing service; the high-tech company Si-Ware; KarmSolar, a high-growth company in the solar technology sector which signed the first power purchase agreement between private companies in Egypt; Yaoota, an online price comparison platform that received $2.7 million in seed funding from an Abu Dhabi investment firm; and Instabug, a young incubator graduate startup with clients, including Yahoo, Soundcloud and PayPal, which succeeded in raising $1.7 million in follow-up funding from Silicon Valley in 2016.

Source: MENA

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