Table of Contents
Entrepreneurship is the process by which individuals pursue opportunities without regard to resources they currently control.It is the art of turning an idea into a business. Entrepreneurs assemble and then integrate all the resources needed – the money, the people, the business model, the strategy – to transform an invention or an idea into a viable business.
You can generate an idea from observing trends, solving a problem or filling an existing market gap.
Popular areas of Entrepreneurship in Egypt:
Social entrepreneurship : the use of the by start up companies and other entrepreneurs to develop, fund and implement solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues.
- About applying practical, innovative and sustainable approaches to benefit society in general, with an emphasis on those who are marginalized and poor.
- A term that captures a unique approach to economic and social problems, an approach that cuts across sectors and disciplines grounded in certain values and processes that are common to each social entrepreneur, independent of whether his/ her area of focus has been education, health, welfare reform, human rights, workers’ rights, environment, economic development, agriculture, etc., or whether the organizations they set up are non-profit or for-profit entities.
- It is this approach that sets the social entrepreneur apart from the rest of the crowd of well-meaning people and organizations who dedicate their lives to social improvement.
- Achieves large scale, systemic and sustainable social change through a new invention, a different approach, a more rigorous application of known technologies or strategies, or a combination of these.
- Focuses first and foremost on the social and/or ecological value creation and tries to optimize the financial value creation.
- Innovates by finding a new product, a new service, or a new approach to a social problem.
- Continuously refines and adapts approach in response to feedback.
Financial technology (FinTech or fintech) is the new technology and innovation that aims to compete with traditional financial methods in the delivery of financial services. The use of smartphones for mobile banking, investing services and cryptocurrency are examples of technologies aiming to make financial services more accessible to the general public. Financial technology companies consist of both startups and established financial and technology companies trying to replace or enhance the usage of financial services provided by existing financial companies.
Popular Global Trends, and how they manifest in Egypt.
- People are becoming more healthaware ( Befit, Hit).
- Traffic problems ( Bey2ollak)
- Feminism, women rights/empowerment
- Animal love, rescue. Vegan/Vegetarian
- Devaluation of the pound
- cause the rise of local brands ( Moltobella)
- Shared Economy (e.g.Uber, OLX, etc)
- High unemployment rate→ cheap labor
- Financial Inclusion
- Central Bank Loans for SMEs
- High interest rate CDs
- Blockchain technology
- Virtual reality/ Augmented reality
- Online shopping/E-commerce
- Big data
- Internet of things
- Artificial Intelligence
- Sustainability/ Waste Management
- Renewable Energy
- Concern about climate change
- Revisiting global trade agreements
- World conflict and the fall of dictatorships
- Financial Inclusion
- New investment laws
Exercise: How to relate trends and their effect in Egypt, and actually seize the opportunity to come up with a new business idea?How to keep up with new trends?
- Platforms to stay updated with the entrepreneurial Egyptian ecosystem ( MAY)
With accelerators thriving, online platforms reinventing business, and startup competitions raising the bar of the country’s entrepreneurs cape, Egypt’s startup ecosystem is successfully harnessing the potential of an eager, tech-minded generation who does not fear backfire nor wait for orders to effect powerful change.
- Funding and Mentorship
The startup accelerator behind the success of Egyptian famed Instabug supports emerging startups investing between $30,000 and $40,000 both in seed funding and in in-kind, in exchange for minor equity in the company. They accept global and local entrepreneurs keen to scale their businesses.They select innovative ideas with scaleable and clear monetisation strategies
With an eager attention on tech startups, Cairo Angels is a collective where each member makes individual investment decisions.
A part of a global network that encompasses more than 23 countries, Endeavor focuses on supporting high-impact mature entrepreneurs. A high profile non-profit organization worldwide, its portfolio boasts some of Egypt’s most recognized brands, such as Al Sagheer Salons, Bey2ollak, and Mori Sushi, who were supported by mentors from both the professional, academic and entrepreneurship world.
Tapping into the enormous human capital harnessed by Egypt’s youth, INJAZ Egypt works with students and younger entrepreneurs between the ages of 21 and 27. It offers acceleration and incubation services to teams of entrepreneurs with an innovative business idea that is profitable, sustainable, and scalable.
Focused on social entrepreneurship, the organisation harnesses sustainable initiatives by supporting the entrepreneurs themselves. Unlike incubators or accelerators, Ashoka offers their fellows a monthly stipend, considered a salary. “The idea is for the entrepreneur to leave their job and be able to focus on their own project,
A non-profit organisation that incubates both social enterprises and NGOs, Nahdet El Mahrousa supports social entrepreneurs with the potential to innovate and create impact that is sustainable and serves underprivileged communities.
A dynamic enterprise focused on tech and aimed at boosting the entrepreneurial revolution, the accelerator hosts a limited number of digital startups every year, providing mentoring as well as office space and support for creative content design through their digital agency, The Planet.
A few years old initiative created by an entrepreneur himself, the Startup School has graduated more than 60 founders in its short existence. “We help idea-phase entrepreneurs reach a product-market fit, providing beginner and advanced level training on prototyping, testing, market research, strategy and pitching,” says the company’s founder, Ibrahim Mahgoub.
The Mobaderoon Masr (Pioneers of Egypt) programme leverages on the power of entrepreneurs to expand employment opportunities for youth, and supporting a new cadre of business leaders. Having graduated 1,250 participants, the programme offers technical and financial support to established or startup social entrepreneurs
The first university-based incubator in Egypt, Venture lab was founded in 2013, incubating early-stage and growth-stage startups and capitalising on the American University’s world-class facilities and knowledge base, connecting innovative startups with AUC’s alumni network and fostering a thriving ecosystem of innovation.
Events and competitions
- Benefits and challenges of being an entrepreneur in Egypt
While entrepreneurship became one of the vital arms that contribute to the Egyptian economy many startups still face challenges when it comes to launching their startup or sustaining it.
- Finding the Team:While many entrepreneurs start out on their own, having the right team of individuals who share the same vision never hurts.
- Understanding the market and the customer: The Egyptian market does have special characteristics that startups need to study before launching.“Don’t assume what your customer wants or what the market needs. Just because you want it to be so, doesn’t mean it is. Support your claims with actual data,”
- Financing: Many entrepreneurs struggle to finance their startups at different phases, some very early on and some after they start facing expenses that they hadn’t accounted for.
- Coping with a changing economy:With the turbulence the Egyptian economy has been facing over the past years, entrepreneurs face the challenge of not only controlling their startup’s economics but also coping with the country’s fluctuating economy.Things like currency devaluation, tax increases and the rise of living expenses affect a startup deeply.
- Understanding the legalities:Many startups start out in the informal sector due to lack of funds, lack of a coherent business plan and the absence of a clear vision for the product/service to be offered. However, once the founders decide on their path, they start to face another challenge, namely, becoming legal.
- Mentorship: Although finding the perfect mentorship fit in the ecosystem is not easy, forming relationships with different individuals helps entrepreneurs build a network of calibers who can offer advice and support in the different fields based on their connections and expertise.
- Job creation and financial independence
- Following passion/doing the things they love
- Flexibility in workplace and hierarchy
- Exponential curve, so business is rewarding
- They become their own boss