Call for Entrepreneurship and Business Projects: STAND Up! project

SEKEM Development Foundation (SDF) as partner of the STAND Up! project is inviting young entrepreneurs in the clothing and fashion industry who want to transform their ideas or start-ups into scalable eco-friendly textile and fashion ventures. STAND Up! project is launching a 10-months program of business support activities and innovation opportunities designed for entrepreneurship and eco-innovative business projects in the textile, clothing and fashion industry sectors contributing positively to an environmentally and socially responsible circular model. The program, organized in 4 different stages, will contribute to the growth of this ecosystem focusing on green business model development, early-stage incubation, access to markets, regional sectorial network, and access to finance in 5 Mediterranean countries (Egypt, Italy, Lebanon, Spain and Tunisia).

The first stage of this path is the launch of the call for entrepreneurship and eco-innovative business projects with the aim to select young innovators and businessmen and women in the fashion, clothing and textile industry. They are invited to apply to access innovative solution training in order to turn their concepts and solutions into scalable environment-friendly businesses. The project’s partner countries engaged aim at involving about 200 start-ups and recently established companies from the Mediterranean area which will be directly committed in activities and benefit from the support of STAND Up! growing innovation assets.

Call for entrepreneurship and eco-innovative business projects 

Do you have a project or an idea in the textile and/or fashion industry that is eco-innovative and has a circular model?

Do you want to scale-up and support your innovative business project?

Are you from the following region or you plan to implement your project in these regions:
Marsa Matruh, Al-Iskandanyah, Al Buhayrah, Kafr ash Shaykh, Ad Daqahliyah, Dumyat, Ash Sharquiyah, Al Isma’iliyah, Bur Sa’id?

You will benefit from advanced business support, financing opportunities, and regional networking to develop and expand your business across the Mediterranean within ten months.

Apply now! 

This program is funded by the EU under the ENICBCMED Programme and focuses on transforming the entrepreneur’s solutions into scalable eco-friendly businesses contributing to the growth of innovation & business opportunities in the textile, clothing, and fashion industry.

From Egypt, 40 entrepreneurs/start-ups will be selected to join the program. Throughout the 10-month program, SDF will support the entrepreneurs through access to advanced business support, financing opportunities, technical assistance, soft-landing vouchers, and regional business networking to grow their projects into textile or fashion ventures and expand them across the Mediterranean basin.

The Benefits:

Business Support

Access to business and technical support designed to meet the needs for entrepreneurship and eco-innovative business projects in the textile, clothing and fashion industry sectors contributing positively to an environmentally and socially responsible circular model.

Financing Opportunities

Access to funding opportunities with investors and investment readiness training.

Access to Mediterranean Markets

Access to regional market and support through soft landing vouchers in 5 Mediterranean countries

Circular Regional Network

Access to the STAND Up! A Mediterranean network of green partners and investors

SEKEM Development Foundation Network

Access to SEKEM’s network of entrepreneurs, professionals, funding companies and international partners in sustainable development.

Who can apply?

The call, which will be addressed in 5 different versions according to the countries involved, is mainly addressed to:

  • young independent innovators and entrepreneurs (24-35 years old),
  • students/ graduates from fashion, textile and design universities working on innovative business projects,
  • small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs),
  •  industries and organizations working on spin-off projects, from the textile and fashion sectors.

What criteria must the proposed projects meet? 

The eligible projects should offer:

  • products, services, designs, business models or technologies leading to sustainable and environmental-friendly innovations in the industry.
  • Should include the potential of scalability, combining innovation, technology, and economic viability.
  • should be compliant with the environment and create a sustainable impact on the circular economy.

The program, organized in 4 different stages, will contribute to the growth of this ecosystem focusing on green business model development, early-stage incubation, access to markets, regional sectorial network, and access to finance in 5 Mediterranean countries (Egypt, Italy, Lebanon, Spain, and Tunisia).

The Growing innovation Program’s Timeline and Stages

The program starts in April 2021 and ends in January 2022.

Stage 1: Outreach & Selection (February 15 – March 15, 2021)

Selecting 40 entrepreneurs in Egypt in the textile, fashion, and clothing industries.

Capacity Building (March 2021 – May 2021)

The selected start-ups will go through a 2-month capacity building program tailored to support them in developing their green business models, access to finance and market strategies.

Jury Day | Selection Of 4 Projects (June 2021)

Entrepreneurs will pitch in front of a selected jury that will select 4 projects who will continue in the next incubation phase.

The pitching teams will be screened based on their value proposition, their innovation, the applicability of their technology, their green business model and scalability potential, their environmental and social impacts, their implementation capacity, and finally on their pitch effectiveness.

Stage 2: Incubation Support (June 2021 – November 2021)

The 4 selected teams will benefit from incubation support from SDF and get in-depth technical and business support.

The incubation period will revolve around:

-Supporting the projects in the implementation.

-Facilitating linkages with experts, investors, and professionals

– giving the teams access to support programs, market, and funding opportunities through SDF and its partners’ networks

Stage 3: Access to Finance (October 2021 – January 2022)

10 ventures will be selected based on specific criteria to benefit from:

Investment readiness training support and matchmaking opportunities with regional investors and funding programs.

Stage 4: Access to Markets (October 2021 – January 2022)

4 ventures will be selected based on specific criteria to benefit from:

Soft-landing vouchers in Mediterranean countries to explore growth opportunities and access to business, partnerships, and collaboration deals to expand their operations.

Interested in joying this experience?

The call will be open till the 19th of March 2021, apply now by filling this form.

Need More Info?

If you have any questions about the STAND Up! Project please email:

Project Manager, saly.sami@hu.edu.eg

Communication Manager, mohammed.anwar@hu.edu.eg

Learn more!
Apply here!