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EBRD President visits Egypt's business accelerator, Falak Startups
Egyptian government's efforts to catalyse digitization, innovation is in line with third pillar of EBRD's new strategy: Al-Mashat
Published in Daily News Egypt on 23 - 04 - 2021

Egypt's Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat and President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Odile Renaud-Basso, have visited the Falak Startups, a business accelerator launched by Egypt Ventures.
Falak Startups, which is founded by the Ministry of International Cooperation's development partnerships, aims to support startups in the technology sector and to advance the entrepreneurial scene in Egypt and the region.
The Thursday visit to Falak Startups comes as part of Renaud-Basso's itinerary in Egypt, which is considered her first visit to the region since her election in October 2020.
Al-Mashat affirmed Egypt's commitment towards enhancing innovation and entrepreneurship to support startups, which are key for disseminating innovation in order to achieve sustainable development and to push for the national development agenda. She pointed out that Falak Startups is a unique model for business accelerators aimed at supporting startups and enabling them to expand their business strategies and promote investments.
Al-Mashat explained that within the portfolio of the Ministry, there are 34 projects in innovation, digitalisation, and entrepreneurship contributing to 13 SDGS. She emphasized the necessity of encouraging the development of the Fintech entrepreneurial force in Egypt, in order to replicate their technological advancement in the public sector pushing towards economic growth.
She added that the government aims to turn Egypt into the region's entrepreneurial hub by providing various support systems for emerging companies and entrepreneurs and stimulating investment in innovation. The Minister further elaborated that the government's interest in supporting digitization, entrepreneurship and innovation is in line with the third pillar of the EBRD's new strategy (2021-2025); accelerating the digital transition. This aims to open new horizons of partnerships and areas of cooperation between Egypt and the EBRD.
During the visit, the Minister and EBRD's President listened to the presentation of Ahmed Gomaa, Chairperson and CEO of Egypt Ventures.
The company was established in 2017, in partnership with the Government of Egypt and the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD). It aims to develop a sustainable-led entrepreneurial ecosystem that is aligned with the global standards of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles.
Egypt Ventures invests in startups, incubators and accelerators across various sectors, which is an opportunity for entrepreneurs aiming to grow their own businesses. It also provides innovators with an opportunity to implement their ideas.
Since its establishment in 2017, Egypt Ventures has invested EGP 306.2m in over 150 startups; of which EGP 139.9m were direct investments and EGP 166.3m indirect investments.
Falak Startups works through a 6-month accelerator programme and provides entrepreneurs with a network of business relations, resources, and all the necessary tools needed to develop and expand their business strategy.
Falak Startups' support program encompasses technical workshops on securing property rights and achieving growth rates, as well as providing skills development programmes. The incubator provides financial support through a development financing worth EGP 100m to startups, in order to enable new businesses to attain high growth rates.
Yousef ElSammaa, Managing Director of Falak Startups, explained that Falak Startups has invested in more than 72 companies; financing different companies with at least EGP 1 million across all sectors such as technology, education, healthcare, trade and industry, e-business, and agriculture.
From his part, Mahmoud El-Zohairy, Managing Director of EFG Egypt Ventures, gave a presentation about the company explaining that it was established in partnership between Egypt Ventures and EFG-Hermes as a pioneering investment company focused on Fintech. EFG Egypt Ventures Fintech provides startups with work spaces, legal and accounting services, and customised training and mentorship programmes.
Zohairy pointed out that the company's portfolio has increased within the past three years; it invested in more than 22 companies across various specializations in Fintech, to own one of the largest development portfolios focused on Fintech in Egypt. The portfolio encompasses 13 companies that were incubated and provided with technical and financial support, and 9 companies that received direct investments.

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