Cairo – Hundreds of aspiring Egyptian entrepreneurs participated in a competition this weekend designed to educate and motivate new entrants to the business sector. The StartUp Weekend event, co-sponsored by the U.S. government and the British University of Egypt (BUE), enables Egypt’s tremendous cadre of innovative, educated, business-minded young adults seeking to strengthen Egypt’s economy.
“The American people know first-hand that encouraging innovative entrepreneurs is one of the most effective ways to create jobs and increase incomes,” said Dr. William Patterson from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). “USAID is proud to support Egypt’s entrepreneurs and believes these innovators have the talent and ingenuity to help build the foundation of a thriving, stable economy in Egypt.”
During the weekend, aspiring entrepreneurs formed teams to develop and pitch ideas to start new businesses. Teams worked together to refine their business models, develop working prototypes, and present their final ideas to potential investors. Some of these teams will go on to create new business ventures that will create new jobs and contribute to the growth of the Egyptian economy.
The first prize winner, Es3fme, successfully pitched an emergency health service app that notifies relatives, locates the nearest hospital, and provides first aid instructions. This team was awarded five seats to the Oasis 500 acceleration program. Other teams, focusing on education, reading, and medical help apps, received awards such as joining the TIEC acceleration program or receiving in-kind vouchers by Aramex worth up to 35,000 LE that will help them build their start-up companies.
The event is part of USAID’s project to strengthen entrepreneurship and enterprise development in Egypt through supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises. Through developing the ability of new firms to innovate and grow, this project will enable hundreds of MSMEs and entrepreneurs to grow sales as a result of streamlined business procedures, improved business processes, and linkages with firms in fast-growing value chains.
Since 1978, USAID has invested nearly $30 billion in the people of Egypt for projects that reflect our shared goals and values. Working together, our impact include reducing infant mortality and eliminating polio, modernizing the power grid and expanding telecommunications networks, supporting entrepreneurs, and preparing students with marketable skills for the 21st century economy.