Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat, has praised the Flat6Labs accelerator as a successful model for cooperation to foster youth employment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Flat6Labs achieves this mission by offering a wide range of services including mentoring, training, and financing.
Minister Al-Mashat’s remarks came during her Wednesday visit to Flat6Labs. The Egyptian minister was accompanied by John Barsa, USAID Director in Washington, who is visiting Egypt for the first time; Jonathan Cohen, US Ambassador to Egypt; Leslie Reed, Director of USAID office in Egypt; and Maya Morsi, President of the National Council for Women.
Minister Al-Mashat stressed that Flat6Labs has grown to be the leading business accelerator in Egypt, supporting 106 businesses and creating 7,450 jobs, of which 6,293 for women.
She added that Egypt has a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, as the small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector provides over 80% of private sector employment in Egypt.
Moreover, Flat6Labs falls under the Ministry of International Cooperation’s “Global Partnerships Narrative”, which focuses on three main pillars: people at the core, projects in action, and purpose as the driver to promote fruitful partnerships that are in line with the government’s 2030 development agenda.
To support SMEs in light of the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Minister Al-Mashat announced recently that the European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved €750m in finance to Egypt’s Banque Misr. The financing will go towards mitigating the negative repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on SMEs in Egypt, and bridge the liquidity gap in the sector.