A session held on the sidelines of the Euromoney Conference in Cairo discussed the outcomes of a recent survey conducted among entrepreneurs in the country. The data has revealed that the biggest barrier to establish a startup in Egypt was the bureaucracy.
In addition to that, many respondents admitted they were hoping to access the local market via angel and venture capital investments. It was namely the funding which was cited as the second biggest problem for growth in the sector. Amr El Abd, the managing director of Egypt Venture commented that there were a lot of industry experts available in the country, ready to help anyone who has a business proposal attractive enough to catch the eye of a startup incubator:
These startups allow us to highlight the importance entrepreneurship plays in driving increases in productivity, job creation, and economic growth in Egypt.
Abdelhameed Sharara, the founder and CEO of RiseUp added to that by saying that the country’s startup ecosystem is one of the fastest developing in the region, if not in the world. According to Sharara, the vital role of technology and communications needs to be better explained and to raise awareness on its importance for the economy. He is convinced that this way, the current gap between investors and rising entrepreneurs would be closed.
Another big challenge to overcome, continued Sharara, was improving the investor climate in the region. Egyptian’s economy has gone through many disturbances after the two recent revolutions. Therefore, the rising technology sector is a green light for many potential investors. The ICT sector has marked a growth of 13% per year from 2012 to 2015. At the moment, that is the fastest growing sector in the country, employing more than 200,000 people. According to the experts, this is due to the fact that Egypt has one of the highest rates of unemployed college graduates in the world. Those of them with an entrepreneurial mindset and some technical skills find jobs mainly in the ICT sector.