Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Egypt

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Entrepreneurship is booming in Egypt and is seen by many as the key for Egypt’s economic growth and social development. In 2013, unemployment was estimated at 13.4%, with 69% of them aged 15 to 29. To mitigate the youth unemployment problem, more and more young people in Egypt are becoming entrepreneurs.

Let’s take a look at why Egypt has become such a promising place to be an entrepreneur.

Bustling population

Home to more than 86 million people, Egypt is the most populous nation in the Arab world. Given that almost 50% of the population are under 30, there is huge potential for business in Egypt. The fast-growing population has driven consumer spending and lured many Arab Gulf investors.

Strategic geographic location

Egypt is strategically located at the junction of three continents – Europe, Asia and Africa. Entrepreneurs can benefit from the rising regional and international trade.

Access to entrepreneurship financing

Entrepreneurs have access to both bank and non-bank financing. They can obtain credit in the forms of loan and microcredit from banks. A number of banks in Egypt, including HSBC, have focused on the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) market. HSBC is one of the largest multinational banks operating in Egypt providing both business and personal banking. To help new and existing SMEs expand their distribution networks into new international markets, HSBC launched an EGP300m International Growth Fund in 2013. One key service offered by HSBC is working capital finance that includes a full range of commercial banking services for your current account and credit and debit cards.

Business-friendly regulatory environment

Starting a business in Egypt is made easier through the General Authority for Investment (GAFI). GAFI is a one-stop shop that facilitates a fast start-up of operation in Egypt. In 2008/09 Doing Business ranked Egypt as one of the top 10 reformers in improvement.

The Egyptian government has developed a policy framework to support SMEs. The Social Fund for Development (SFD) is responsible for mobilizing resources and synchronizing efforts aimed at fostering the development of SMEs. The Egyptian Government has also developed a policy targeted at enhancing SME innovation through dedicated centers and networks through the Egypt Technology Transfer and Innovation Centers (ETTIC). The Industrial Modernisation Center (IMC) also provides start-up and growth services for SMEs.

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Education and entrepreneurship

Egypt was selected by US President Obama as the pilot country for a new Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP). The US and Egyptian partners work together to identify opportunities, train aspiring entrepreneurs and assist with access to funding.

The large and fast-growing population, access to entrepreneurship funding and the supportive regulatory environment have fuelled the emergence of a fast-growing entrepreneurship hub in Egypt. There are plenty of opportunities for those who are willing to take the risk.

Images by ictQATAR and epSos.de, used under the Creative Commons license.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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