Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development recently hosted the demo and matchmaking event “Pitch n Match – InnoEgypt and MedUp”. The event celebrated the achievements of 42 startups who pitched their business models and offered them a powerful networking opportunity to grow and scale. “Entrepreneurship is the backbone of the economy,” expresses Ibrahim Laafia, the Head of Cooperation of the European Delegation in Egypt, in his welcome note shared via Zoom. Next to her, Mr. Maged Barakat, Acting Executive Director Programme Implementation Unit at TVET Egypt welcomed the participants warmly.
The 42 startups are in top-priority industrial sectors in Egypt: Agribusiness, Social Entrepreneurship, ICT, Construction, Energy, Water, Ready Made Garments and Textiles, and Education. During the Demo Day, each company presented their business and social ideas, and shared their experience with venture capitalists, other potential investors, and industry leaders across many fields. The event allowed the participants to secure new rounds of investment, and opportunities for partnership and networking. Moreover, it gave an opportunity for the participants to reveal the growth that they made during the previous months until now. “This session is an important opportunity to build networks to support innovative entrepreneurs to shape the future of the economic development in Egypt,” stated Mohamed El-Sayed El-Shenawy, who advises several Egyptian ministries and works as a professor at national and international universities.
During his inspiring speech, Helmy Abouleish, CEO of SEKEM and Chair of the Board of Trustees at Heliopolis University, expressed his eagerness to collaborate with the youth: “SEKEM was a startup 43 years ago, and against odds, a miracle was unfolded and became the SEKEM that we see now. We are happy to share our experience with young innovative entrepreneurs to help them succeed so that they can take the next step. And we hope to celebrate their success in the near future.”
SEKEM is involved to the following EU funded projects to boost entrepreneurship:
In this context, the EU has supported the national program InnoEgypt to promote the national transformation toward more professional and sustainable knowledge and innovation-based economy. The program also fights youth and women unemployment in Egypt via intensifying the existence, sustainability and impacts of young entrepreneurial start-ups. This can be achieved through empowering young entrepreneurs, and defining and boosting main industrial supply and value chains to understand the actual market needs.
“MedUP – Promoting Social Entrepreneurship in the Mediterranean Region” is a project funded by the EU for the development of the social entrepreneurship sector as a driver for inclusive growth and job creation. Economic inclusiveness and employment in Southern Mediterranean partner countries shall be increased by providing financial and technical support to social enterprises in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan.