The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) is planning to launch a startup fund with capital ranging between $20m to $25m to address the lack of investments in the market, according to former CEO of ITIDA Hussein El-Gueretly.
El-Gueretly highlighted the significant lack of investments pumped into startups by investors and the private funds. Therefore, ITIDA is working to resolve this in cooperation with the Social Fund for Development and the World Bank, by launching a fund to invest in start-ups with capital ranging between $20m and $25m, 80% of which would be funded by the private sector, while the government would fund the remaining 20%.
When the entrepreneurship market in Egypt is compared to other markets abroad, Egypt is still significantly behind these markets. There is no clear vision for the field in Egypt, El-Gueretly said.
El-Gueretly noted that Egypt requires a clear policy to attract innovative youths, in addition to clear mechanisms that should be followed to boost the growth of entrepreneurship.
A viable environment is available to enable the growth of entrepreneurship, he added, as many business incubators and investment funds came into existence in the past three years, which specifically focus on startups and the entrepreneurship.
He added that ITIDA targets the youths’ positive energy in all manners. However, the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC), affiliated to ITIDA, does not have the capacity to provide its services in all governorates.
Thereby, ITIDA seeks to adopt and support youths and their projects nationwide by launching a web of innovation centres, in cooperation with the private sector and civil society institutions in all governorates and colleges, especially those with practical faculties in the field of engineering and technology, such as Mansoura, Menufiya, and Alexandria.
El-Gueretly said training programmes in the field of entrepreneurship will be launched to support youths in the universities. These would be launched in the form of contests for youths.
El-Gueretly further revealed that ITIDA plans to launch an electronic platform to link investors, business incubators, and investment funds to young entrepreneurs.
“We always seek to support this field through launching centres affiliated to the TIEC in different governorates. The first phase of this plan will be in Assiut, Mansoura, and Matrouh,” El-Gueretly added.
He further highlighted the necessity of linking Egyptians abroad who achieve success in the field of entrepreneurship to Egypt, in order to make use of their experiences. This would benefit the sector and push its growth in the upcoming period. Further, this will help innovative youths to gain a global outlook, which would allow them to focus on services and products with international appeal to compete in all the foreign markets, rather than only on the local and regional level.