In the framework of the EU-Egypt partnership that includes promoting social entrepreneurship and innovation, SEKEM cooperates in the project InnoEgypt. With the slogan “IncuVate your Idea”, and a budget of 1,870,000 Euros, the two-year project fosters incubating innovative projects emerging in Egypt in the four industrial priority sectors: Agro-Food, Construction and Energy, Information and Communication Technology, Textile and Handcrafts.
Among more than 500 promising startups, 150 have been chosen for the capacity building phase that is currently taking place. Workshops and training sessions in Finance, Marketing, and Strategic Management as well as in Pitching and Communication Skills are offered to the owners; preparing them to present their ventures in the final pitching phase. The top 40 startups will then receive full incubation support and a seed funding of 250,000 EGP. Technical, legal and business consultancies shall be provided, besides networking facilities with worldwide investors and like-minded shareholders.
“Our country is full of untapped potentials. Young people are eager to find sustainable solutions for the challenges we are facing,” says Heba Abdelrazek, Project Coordinator at SEKEM and the executive secretary of InnoEgypt. “SEKEM’s cooperation in InnoEgypt is opening the doors for such entrepreneurs, to develop their skills, advance their business and even compete in both local and global markets,” states Heba who is also a recent graduate of SEKEM’s educational institute Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development (HU).
Under the supervision of Heba Abdelrazek, more than 45 startups are now involved in the boot-camp at the HU, which is one of the four InnoEgypt’s boot-camps that are running in Cairo, Asyut and Alexandria governorates. Furthermore, the University will host the incubation of ten of the 40 winners in its co-working space afterwards. “The participants are very active and carry brilliant ideas that are not only satisfying the current community needs but are also considering the different dimensions, like what SEKEM does on cultural, ecological and economic aspects,” Heba Abdelrazek elaborates. “That’s what innovation means to us; solving upcoming challenges proactively, rather than only reacting to current problems or crises.”