U.S. Contributes $45 million Towards New Entrepreneurship and Employment Programs

CAIRO – The U.S. Embassy announced an investment of $45 million in two new programs that will promote small businesses in Egypt and train students to help them successfully compete for jobs. Provided through the Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the Ministry of International Cooperation, the new programs seek to fulfill the needs of thousands of entrepreneurs and vocational school students over a four-year period.

The “Strengthening Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development” (SEED) program will receive funding of $22.9 million. Over the coming four years, SEED will provide technical assistance to small businesses throughout Egypt to help them qualify and gain access to bank loans, develop new business ideas, and conduct market research.  Aligned with the Government of Egypt’s economic growth strategy, SEED will benefit a number of business sectors, especially woman-owned small businesses and sectors that can potentially employ large numbers of women and youth.

The remaining $22.1 million will fund a new educational program called “Workforce Improvement and Skills Enhancement” (WISE). This program will support quality education at Egyptian vocational schools, especially by partnering with manufacturing and service companies to develop the technical skills of students and future job-seekers.

SEED and WISE are part of a comprehensive package of technical assistance designed to stimulate job creation, economic recovery, private sector business growth, and a stronger trade and investment environment throughout Egypt.  Over the past three years, USAID activities in Egypt have led to new or better full-time employment for over 40,000 Egyptians and to the creation of an additional 20,00 short-term jobs. Since 1975, the U.S. has contributed nearly $30 billion in economic assistance to Egypt.