Banks participating in the Nile Pioneers initiative are considering establishing an investment fund for promising companies or those who have a business development certificate, in order to enhance the services of the initiative with financial sustainability.
On Wednesday, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and Nile University celebrated the initative’s one-year anniversary, which is meant to support Egyptian entrepreneurship and start-ups.
CBE has signed an agreement with Nile University for a period of five years under the name “Nile Pioneers” aimed at developing, qualifying, and increasing the capabilities of young entrepreneurs in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
This agreement came after the bank launched an initiative to support SMEs.
During the first year of the initiative, banks opened 28 business development services centres covering 15 governorates and hosting 85 companies with business incubators, in addition to four design houses in four universities. Those universities are Nile University, Ain Shams University, the Naval Academy in Alexandria, and Al-Azhar University in Qena. In addition, it provides technical support to 56 projects and trains 100 students from technical schools, in addition to providing training to about 2000 trainees. There are more than 6000 students participating in awareness campaigns on the principles of entrepreneurship and financial education. Twelve training activities for government agencies and universities were implemented, with more than 100,000 followers on social media pages.
The Nile Pioneers Initiative is a youth initiative that educates youth about entrepreneurship with the CBE’s support. Nile University oversees its implementation in cooperation with the Ministry of Planning, the Academy of Scientific Research, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA), and several other concerned authorities.
Among the objectives of the initiative are increasing the contribution of SMEs, improving the gross national product, establishing integrated business development services centres, increasing the number of companies creating new job, increasing exports, replacing imports with domestic products, and stimulating innovation and creativity.
The initiative offers many different programmes that target a variety of groups, from young people and people with innovative ideas, to entrepreneurial companies, and small and medium business owners.