Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer delivering a speech at the launching of NilePreneurs on the campus of Nile University in Cairo, Egypt. 17 February 2019. Press Photo.
CAIRO - 17 February 2019: Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer launched on Sunday the “NilePreneurs” initiative funded and sponsored by the CBE to support small enterprises and startups in targeted economic sectors.
NilePreneurs deploys the latest technological applications to provide technical and administrative support. The initiative also aligns and coordinates with the ecosystem to support domestic products and increase their competitiveness.
The initiative is implemented by Nile University pursuant to a five-year-agreement with the CBE, in collaboration with the MSME Development Agency, the Ministry of Planning, the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, local banks, the Egyptian Banking Institute (EBI) (the educational arm of the CBE), and, local and international entities and donors.
The event was attended by Minister of Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aaty; Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform Hala al-Saeed; Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhy; parliamentary committee chairpersons; top management of the CBE and the banking sector; Nile University Board of Trustees; presidents of universities; representatives of major industrial institutions; and, different stakeholders supporting entrepreneurship, small enterprises and startups.
The launching included a tour in the headquarters of NilePreneurs and the inauguration of the first Business Development Services (BDS) Hub, a prototype that will be unified across participating (twelve) banks’ branches and MSME Development Agency’s locations.
The target is to establish 30 BDS hubs covering sixteen (16) governorates in 2019 In addition, NilePreneurs presented a number of incubators providing startups with the needed technical and administrative support to meet the diverse needs of the Egyptian market.
“NilePreneurs initiative serves the Egyptian economy and is in line with CBE mandate to support small and medium enterprises, entrepreneurship, innovation, automation, and technological advancement to increase the competitiveness of the domestic product consequently promoting exports and reducing imports,” Amer said.
Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer, Minister of Planning Hala al-Said (r) and President of Nile University Tarek Khalil in the launching of NilePreneurs on the campus of Nile University in Cairo, Egypt. 17 February 2019. Press Photo.
“CBE is sponsoring NilePreneurs with the aim of encouraging the banking sector to provide more non-financial services. Financing is no longer the main obstacle facing businesses and entrepreneurs. Yet, there are more challenges such as conducting feasibility studies, and designing and marketing products. NilePreneurs aims to address such challenges” Deputy Governor of the CBE Lobna Helal affirmed.
“The role of Nile University is not only limited to education and scientific research but also extends to promote and support innovation, entrepreneurship and technology, positively contributing to our society and the economy.. NilePreneurs initiative, implemented by the university, is a model to be replicated by other universities and research centers to maximize the benefits,” President of Nile University Tarek Khalil asserted.
Executive Director of “NilePreneurs” Heba Labib showcased the models of startups. That was followed by a documentary video on the initiative’s first vocational training center in Al Asmarat which is the first Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. It aims to improve labor skills and productivity.
The CBE seeks to turn NilePreneurs into a national initiative that adopts international best-practices and progressive scientific methodologies. The initiative provides the necessary technical equipment and engineering consultancy for innovators through the design house located at the Nile University to reach a prototype in accordance with the standard operating procedures for product development, through reverse engineering. Similar models to the design house are to be established in three other universities.
Two cooperation protocols were signed during the event. The first is by CBE and the Ministry of Youth mandating the establishment of points of presence in Youth Centers.
The the second is between NilePreneurs and Rowad 2030 project, implemented by the Ministry of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform. The ministry will finance the “Micro Factory” program for small-sized products ranging from 50 to 100 units starting from the ideation phase to the final product’s.
Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer, President of Nile University Tarek Khalil in the launching of NilePreneurs on the campus of Nile University in Cairo, Egypt. 17 February 2019. Press Photo.
The event also hosted a panel discussion on digital agriculture featuring international experts. The agricultural sector heavily impacts inflation and is therefore among the top priorities of the CBE and NilePreneurs.
Currently, all policies, procedures, and action plans are being documented and will be availed to all educational and academic institutions, providing a guiding model to pave the way for the private sector to implement and replicate.