Fintech Startups in Egypt Stand to Gain a Cut from US$200 Mil Fund by the World Bank25. April 2019
The World Bank has set aside US$200 million for Egyptian SMEs hoping to create job opportunities for the kingdom’s youth.
The project, called ‘Catalyzing Entrepreneurship for Job Creation’, will funnel about US$145 million to grant loans for small businesses—especially those led by youth, women, and first-time borrowers across the country.
Loans would be granted via non-bank financial institutions.
The initiative will also provide funds to various coaching and mentorship platforms to help up-and-coming entrepreneurs to develop the skills and insights necessary to succeed in their ventures.
Additionally, 25% of the total investment, which amounts to roughly US$50 million, will be allocated to venture capital funds, angel groups, investment firms and accelerators.
Fintech startups targeting the Egypt region may have a strong case for receiving this funding. The kingdom, with its high populations and equally high cash dependence could do from a financial inclusion boost, which innovative fintech startups can provide.
For one thing, digital money is fast becoming one of the nation’s biggest monetary disruptors to offer online services for average Egyptians that have been precluded thus far due to a lack of banking services geared towards them.
“The project also aims to increase the supply of seed, early-stage, and venture capital going to riskier and innovative startups and young small and medium enterprises with high potential for growth and job creation,” said a World Bank representative.
Clarifying that investors are also eligible to apply for funding, World Bank added:
“A call for proposals will be issued, with international players encouraged to apply, and the funds distributed through a transparent and competitive selection process. The aim is to leverage the technical capacity and know-how of the private sector in investing these funds.”
Lauding the new initiative, Dr. Sahar Nasr, Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation and Egypt’s Representative on the World Bank’s Board of Governors, stated that the forthcoming investment will go a long way in improving the livelihoods of many Egyptians, thereby making invaluable contribution to the country’s economy.
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