Orascom’s Gemini Enterprises Africa has launched the Gemini Uplift Initiative to support start-ups and small companies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
The company said the initiative is looking to solve unemployment and create job opportunities that help them build a more sustainable future.
The company explained that the initiative was launched during a difficult time for entrepreneurs, when they tend to face issues relating to employment and economic pressures.
The initiative offers three tracks, of which the first track provides financing by creating investment opportunities to accelerate the business. It also allows joining accelerator programmes, with opportunities to obtain financial rewards and options to obtain financing without shares.
This is where communication with potential local and international investors takes place. The company said that the initiative was launched online in cooperation with over 45 local, regional and international partners, including the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), Mint EG Bank, Nahdet El Mahrousa, Alexandria Business Angels Network, Catalyst Partners among others.
It invites entrepreneurs and start-ups in all sectors across Egypt, the Middle East and Africa, to apply by filling in the form for each track.
The second track helps create channels to connect entrepreneurs with major companies to provide new operational opportunities. The initiative looks to create linking channels between start-ups and large companies, and creating partnerships and mutual benefits based on urgent market needs.
Furthermore, it provides sustainable operational opportunities for entrepreneurs, which also help large companies in expanding commercial activities within a short period of time.
This takes place through Cairo ICT, the United Nations Laboratory for Technological Innovation, the United Nations Development Program, Orascom Investment, the Rise-up Summit, Techne Summit, the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative, Founders Institute – Cairo, the Consulting Pad, Africa Axis Summit, and Gemini Holdings.
The third track looks to create targeted training specialised in crisis management. As for the targeted training track, it provides an opportunity to obtain financial, legal, and human resources as well as media guidance.
This comes in cooperation with the American University in Cairo (AUC), Beltone Financial, KPMG Hazem Hassan, the MIT Forum for Entrepreneurship in the Arab World, and Injaz Egypt, Falak, Flat 6 Labs, Sherketak Fekretak (Your Company, Your Idea), and the Cairo Angel Investment Network among others.
“We believe in the importance of immediate action in cooperation with our partners to support entrepreneurs and start-ups to maintain their business during these difficult times,” said Naguib Sawiris, Chairman and Managing Director of Orascom Investment Holding (OIH), adding “We will not let the coronavirus defeat us.”