IFC logo- Photo courtesy of IFC website IFC logo- Photo courtesy of IFC website

IFC, Investment Min. support ecosystem entrepreneurship in Africa

Wed, Oct. 3, 2018
CAIRO – 3 October 2018: The International Finance Cooperation (IFC) and Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation announced Tuesday the launch of a new initiative that aims to strengthen ecosystem entrepreneurship across Africa.
IFC added in a statement that a website was launched calling for applicants for the new initiative.

Titled "The Next 100 African Start-Ups", the initiative will select up to 100 promising entrepreneurs based in Africa and connect them with business leaders, international investors, financial institutions, and policymakers at the Africa 2018 Forum set to be held under the patronage of Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in December in Sharm El-Sheikh.

“The initiative is part of IFC’s broader efforts to boost entrepreneurship in the Middle East and Africa by helping start-ups access much-needed financing, receive advice, and break into new markets,” the statement read.

“This initiative is a reflection of our faith in the bright young minds of our continent, and our commitment to ensure that entrepreneurs are equipped with the tools they need, including finance, advice, and networks, that would enable them to innovate and grow.” Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said.

“Through nurturing the ecosystem entrepreneurship, we believe we can unlock the potential of African youth to become more globally competitive, and to more actively contribute to the development of their communities,” she added.

“Supporting entrepreneurs is one of the best ways to drive innovation and create jobs in Africa. That’s what this forum will help do,” IFC Vice President for the Middle East and Africa Sérgio Pimenta said.

The statement read that Egypt is on its way to become a leading regional hub for entrepreneurs, tapping the immense potential for innovation and growth the region has to offer.

“To boost the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, MIIC launched Fekretak Sherketak in partnership with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in 2017 a comprehensive platform offering key tools including funding, mentorship, and training to entrepreneurs,” the statement noted.

MIIC also established leading venture firms and accelerators such as Egypt Ventures, Falak Start-ups and EFG-EV Fintech, through joint investments with the private sector and international financial institutions.

IFC signed an agreement in September with Banque Misr to support female entrepreneurs, aiming to help expand the number of women-led businesses in its SME banking portfolio, as part of IFC’s wider efforts to boost financial inclusion for women entrepreneurs in Egypt.

Over the last two years, IFC has provided close to $65 million in funding to technology companies and start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa, while working alongside leading accelerators and venture funds like Wamda, Flat6Labs, and Algebra Ventures.
Interested entrepreneurs can learn more details about the initiative and submit their applications via the website - http://next100africanstartups.com
 
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