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  • Thursday, 27 April 2023

Within the framework of the partnership between the Ministry of International Cooperation, the Dutch Embassy and the Bank of Alexandria: The graduation of 76 startups during 4 sessions of the Orange Corners Upper Egypt Entrepreneurship Support Program.

● H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation: The program encourages an entrepreneurial environment and enhances its contribution to achieving development in Upper Egypt.

● Dutch Ambassador: Entrepreneurship plays a pivotal role in promoting innovation and reducing unemployment rates.

● 58% of the startups participating in the 4 cycles of the program are led by women.. 21 startups graduated in the fourth cycle in the fields of handicrafts, creative industries and the circular economy.

The Ministry of International Cooperation, the Dutch Embassy, and the Bank of Alexandria celebrated the graduation of 76 startups over the course of 4 sessions of the Orange Corners Upper Egypt Program. This is implemented within the framework of the international partnership and cooperation of the Arab Republic of Egypt with multilateral and bilateral development partners, to support entrepreneurship and improve the startup environment in Egypt.

Over the course of 4 sessions, the program witnessed a positive turnout, as it spotlighted more than 970 startups, with 120 startups able to participate in the training courses and incubators provided by the program. Of the mentioned, 76 companies graduated, 58% of which are led by women and girls, in various fields, with 21% in Agribusiness, 35% in the field of handicrafts and creative industries, 15% in the field of waste management and the circular economy, and 29% in the field of education, e-commerce and health, while more than 1,000 participants attended the events and round tables organized by the program to raise awareness of the importance of entrepreneurship.

In terms of the results achieved in the fourth session, 172 start-up companies applied, and 21 companies graduated from this session in the fields of agriculture, handicrafts, waste management and creative industries, and women represented 67% of the participants. During this course, more than 184 training hours were provided to the participants.

For her part, Al-Mashat said that interest in entrepreneurship, innovation and support for startups is of great importance in order to enhance development efforts. Therefore, the Ministry of International Cooperation is working on many programs with development partners in this field, including the Orange Corners Upper Egypt program, which is a unique model for cooperation with development partners and the private sector, to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation in Egypt, and support efforts to create job opportunities and achieve development in Upper Egypt.

H.E. explained that the Ministry of International Cooperation is working within the framework of the government's work program with all international development partners to expand the role of startups and entrepreneurship, improve the entrepreneurship environment and related legislation, as well as encourage local and international investments in startups, explaining that the ministry's portfolio currently includes 35 projects in the field of innovation, digital transformation and entrepreneurship. These projects contribute to achieving eleven goals and are being implemented with 15 development partners and represent about 4% of Egypt's development financing portfolio.

Al-Mashat stated that the Ministry of International Cooperation is committed to enhancing the entrepreneurship sector, as this stems from its vital role in attracting international investments and enhancing human capital locally. The Minister congratulated the startups that graduated in the fourth round of the Orange Corners Upper Egypt program, which are making clear efforts through their work on the ground, paving the way to enhance job creation, stimulate innovation, and encourage youth to develop their businesses and contribute to economic growth.

For his part, H.E. Han-Maurits Schaapveld, Ambassador of the Kingdom of The Netherlands to the Arab Republic of Egypt expressed his happiness to be part of the efforts supporting young Egyptian entrepreneurs. He stated: "The Netherlands promotes an ambitious sustainable aid, trade and investment policy aimed at finding win-win solutions globally. Entrepreneurship plays a vital role by contributing to innovation and the reduction of unemployment.” He continued: “Young Egyptian entrepreneurs have proven to be risk-takers who dare to drive change, often with limited resources. The entrepreneurial programme Orange Corners assists these young entrepreneurs in Egypt in developing not only their ideas but also their personal skills”.

The Orange Corners Egypt program is an initiative to provide training, business networks and support for entrepreneurs to start and grow their innovative businesses. The initiative includes two independent business incubation programs - one in Cairo and the other in Upper Egypt (Assiut) - and each program provides repeated training courses for a period of 6 months for 15 to 25 entrepreneurs at a time. The training is particularly concerned with emerging startups in the field of agriculture and creative industries, and ensures the participation of female entrepreneurs at a rate of no less than 50%. The Orange Corners program is implemented by local implementing partners Cultiv (Cairo) and Outreach Egypt for Development Consulting (Upper Egypt).