Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr represented Egypt’s experience in entrepreneurship during a session on the impact of startup companies in the community, which was held on the sidelines of the “Davos” economic forum for the Middle East and North Africa at the Dead Sea in Jordan. The forum included the presence of Ali Bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, Oman’s minister of commerce and industry; Mona Hammami, director of the office of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi; and Faris Zaher, executive director and one of the founders of the Yamsafer company. Each reviewed the experience of their own country in entrepreneurship. Philipp Rösler, head of regional and government engagement and member of the managing board of the World Economic Forum, also participated.
Nasr stressed that supporting startup companies is an essential role of the ministry, in order to achieve economic development, create jobs, and support the private sector, indicating that one of the main challenges that the Middle East and North Africa face is a high unemployment rate, especially among young people and women.
She explained the efforts of the government and the private sector to support small businesses and projects, where the ministry established the “Egypt for Entrepreneurship and Investments” company, which aims to directly and indirectly invest in startup companies, entrepreneurship, and small businesses, with capital of EGP 451m, which is targeted to reach EGP 1bn.
Moreover, the company will contribute to bridging the funding gap for emerging companies by contributing to their capital, whether directly or indirectly, through entrepreneurial incubators or venture capital funds. Nasr added that the main goal of this company is to attract foreign and local investments and joint investment with the private sector, as well as to maximise the opportunities for emerging companies to compete globally.
Startups contribute to a change in the society through a number of successful projects that solve social problems, such as traffic congestion in Cairo. Recently, the Egyptian government approved a draft law known as “organisation of road transport services to the passengers in private vehicles using information technology”, which regulates the use of private cars for Uber and Careem.