World Bank backs Egypt’s $50m venture capital program
Egypt’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Nevine Gamea, executive director of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA), announced on Friday (February 25th) that the country was launching a venture capital program of 50 million backed by the World Bank, MAGNiTT reported.
Gamea has repeatedly “highlighted the state’s interest in supporting young innovators and providing them with technical and financial support to help them turn their ideas into projects that meet people’s diverse needs,” the report said.
MSMEDA has “taken a keen interest in continually evaluating and improving its financial services to meet the demands of a wide range of projects,” especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gamea said.
The venture capital program will finance new and existing investment funds that support entrepreneurship projects and will implement specialized training programs for employees working in financial institutions “to make them aware of the mechanisms of this type of funding and to help them expand their applications.
Egypt’s venture capital sector grew 176% year-on-year in 2021, the report said, adding that 12 of the region’s top 20 investors were local, including Flat6Labs, AUC Angles, EdVentures and Foundation Ventures.
Gamea’s announcement came at the opening of the Direct Investment Week, co-organized by the Egyptian Association for Direct Investment and the African Association of Private Equity and Venture Capital, in collaboration with the World Bank, the German Agency for International Cooperation, Misr Insurance Holding and more than 120 finance and investment professionals present.
Related: MENA Zbooni e-commerce platform expands to Egypt
Last week, connected commerce platform Zbooni brought its services to Egypt, where the company announced it would provide digital commerce tools to the 33.5 million small and medium-sized businesses in the North African country.
Zbooni’s platform will allow Egyptian businesses to target the country’s more than 50 million social media users, helping them enter orders, accept payments and track their progress.