Euro Med @ Change : Business Road show #Egypt

The Euro-Med @ Change: Egypt Business Roadshow under the theme “Local Innovation

In light of the importance of Small and Medium Enterprises sector , which is considered the main engine for the development of the Egyptian Economy as well as for creating new sustainable jobs, GAFI has established “Bedaya Center for Entrepreneurship and SME Development” to support and develop Small and Medium Investments. The center acts as an agent that enables Egyptian SMEs to access the different financial and non financial services required to ensure their growth and development.

towards Internationalization” is jointly organized by GAFI and ANIMA Investment Network from June 1st to 3rd, 2014. In the framework of the “Euro-Mediterranean Innovative Entrepreneurs for Change” project, ANIMA has mobilized a number of key partners across the Euro-Mediterranean from (Tunisia, Morocco, Lebanon, Egypt and Europe) to foster internationalization for innovative entrepreneurs and SMEs.

The event will capitalise on the powerful partnership with: Misr El-Kheir Foundation, Nile University, Academy for Scientific Research & Technology (ASRT), the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), the Middle-East Council for Small Business & Entrepreneurship (MCSBE), Bedaya Private Equity fund, Innovety and Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) to orchestrate activities that help the Euro-Med participants strengthen their presence in the local and global markets, while leveraging their international visibility.

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Entrepreneurship in #Egypt and Tunisia After the Arab Spring

In 2011, both Tunisia and Egypt were rocked by popular protests against economic and political repression that ended in the ouster of their authoritarian governments. Three years later, how much progress have these states made in reforming their economies? And what has happened to the entrepreneurs whose grievances helped fuel these revolutions?

Reforming the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Post-Revolutionary Egypt and Tunisia, a report from CIPE and Stanford University’s Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL), attempts to answer these key questions. With this report, CIPE staff and IACE will engage policymakers and stakeholders in roundtable discussions to formulate policy recommendations in the coming weeks.

Working with CIPE Cairo staff and CIPE partner L’Institut Arabe des Chefs d’Entreprises (IACE) in Tunisia, lead researcher Amr Adly conducted an extensive study of existing literature and over 100 detailed interviews with entrepreneurs in each country to shed light on the obstacles and opportunities that comprise the entrepreneurial ecosystems in these post-revolutionary states.

The survey results paint a small yet detailed portrait of what life is like for the Egyptians and Tunisians trying to make ends meet in countries with increasing unemployment rates, among other worries. Dysfunctional and inaccessible regulatory structures, crony networks solidified by corrupt past regimes, and a lack of access to information for the private sector and policymakers are only a few of the areas for which Adly’s research provides nuance.

Who are the entrepreneurs that can withstand such an unstable environment? The majority of respondents in both countries affirmed that they do not trust formal contract enforcement, managed to start their business largely through self-financing due to a lack of access to loans, and endure high transaction costs as a result of inadequate institutions. They are men and women, younger and older, more or less educated, formally registered or informally operating, risking bankruptcy and/or jail time for a failed venture, running joint or solo endeavors—and they are all citizens for whom their government is not working.

What is striking about these groups is that despite such uncertain environments, the majority of those surveyed still expressed positive attitudes toward business registration, reporting that registering their businesses had a positive impact on their livelihoods. Such findings suggest a warm reception to informed and targeted economic reform efforts favoring these overlooked actors, brimming with creativity and a knack for survival in tough business environments.

However, due to the crony capitalism that was heavily cultivated by the former Mubarak and Ben Ali regimes, entrepreneurs are seldom heard from, and many of their needs have been ignored as new economic reforms unfold. Adly highlights the toll that the absence of the voice of entrepreneurs, burdened by a lack of SME freedom of association, takes on these two societies struggling to stabilize after the Arab Spring.

In Egypt, Adly suggests “a case of sustained anti-entrepreneurship biases” that render loans incredibly difficult to obtain and exhibit patterns of discrimination based on age, gender, business formality, business size, and family partnership. These deeply ingrained patterns enable well-established entities to benefit from the economic dysfunction and surface-level economic reforms to secure non-market based profits, preventing true economic growth from taking hold.

Though Tunisia is deemed relatively less hostile toward start-up ventures, Adly determines that some of what holds back Tunisian growth is conflicting intentions for supporting entrepreneurship. He cites a social motive “to fight unemployment—something close to welfare stipends” that opposes intentions to “[boost] investment, innovation and growth;” a tug-o’-war that could be ameliorated with more information from the citizens these policies are trying to assist in the first place.

Despite the variety of obstacles facing each case study, it is clear that more communication between economic actors and policymakers is needed before reform on the ground can commence. Adly’s report shines light on the vast room for improvement in the Egyptian and Tunisian entrepreneurship ecosystems, which are a crucial part of fostering a stable and sustainable economy.

However, identifying space for needed change is only the beginning. This month, the report will be presented at roundtables held in each country to inspire discussion among government officials, members of civil society, and local business people. These national discussions will be channeled into concrete policy recommendations that can be put into the hands of policymakers. This process will not only bear potential change for entrepreneurs, their families, and the economies of Tunisia and Egypt; but it can also offer a participatory example of how democracy thrives when combined with transparency and access to information on behalf of both citizens and policymakers.

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انطلاق مسابقة ابتكار 2014

تنطلق مسابقة ابتكار 2014 وهي مسابقة مشروعات التخرج التابعة لمركز الإبداع التكنولوجي وريادة الأعمال يوم 5 مايو، بحثا عن المواهب الجديدة والأفكار الخلاقة والمنتجات والخدمات الابداعية من أجل إبرازها في المجتمع.

وتستهدف المسابقة طلاب الجامعة من الفرقة الأخيرة الذين يقدمون مشروعات التخرج في احدى الكليات المتخصصة في مجالات الاتصالات وتكنولوجيا المعلومات، حيث يمكن للطلاب التقديم على المسابقة حتى يوم 15 يونيو.

وتأتي المسابقة تحت رعاية العديد من الشركات العالمية، والمؤسسات المحلية والحكومية، وتضم: شركة مايكروسوفت العالمية، وإي إم سي، وانتل، ومنتور جرافيك والجهاز القومي لتنظيم الاتصالات.

وتجري المشاركة من خلال المحاور التالية: تصميم الدوائر المتكاملة، والاتصالات والحوسبة السحابية، وتطبيقات المحمول، والنظم المدمجة، والشبكات الاجتماعية، وانترنت الأشياء وتطبيقات التكنولوجيات القابلة للارتداء (Wearable Technologies)، والتكنولوجيات مفتوحة المصدر، والتكنولوجيات الصاعدة، وفهم وسائل الإعلام متعددة الوسائط، وكذلك فهم اللغات الطبيعية.

جدير بالذكر أن الفرق الفائزة ستحصل على جوائز مالية، إضافة إلى التدريب المجاني لمدة ثلاثة شهور على ريادة الأعمال من خلال البرامج التدريبية لمركز الإبداع التكنولوجي وريادة الأعمال.

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مفوضية الاتحاد الاوروبى تقدم منح للباحثين بجامعة المنصورة

نظمت جامعة المنصورة ندوة عن دور الجهات المانحة والاتحاد الاوروبى فى دعم أنشطة الابتكار والإبداع البحثي  بالتعاون مع برنامج المنح بمفوضية الاتحاد الاوروبى  ومؤسسة مصر الخير  ومركز ريادة الأعمال والإبداع التكنولوجى لوزارة الاتصالات  وتكنولوجيا المعلومات  تحت رعاية الدكتور السيد احمد عبد الخالق رئيس الجامعة وريادة الدكتورة ماجدة نصر احمد نائب رئيس الجامعة للدراسات العليا والبحوث  وتنظيم الدكتور فرج إبراهيم  مدير مركز المنح الدولية
قام  بعرض المنح الدكتورة زينب الصدر المدير التنفيذي لبرنامج  RDI & HORIZON2020  بمفوضية الاتحاد الاوروبى
المهندسة سالي متولي مديرة البحوث والابتكار بمؤسسة مصر الخير ، المهندسة رشا طنطاوي رئيس قسم ريادة الأعمال بمركز ريادة الأعمال والإبداع التكنولوجي التابع لوزارة الاتصالات  وتكنولوجيا المعلومات
حضر اللقاء عدد كبير من الباحثين بجامعة المنصورة وأعضاء هيئة التدريس وعمداء الكليات والوكلاء بالكليات المختلفة .
وأشارت الدكتورة ماجدة نصر ان التميز لجامعة المنصورة فى مجالات كثيرة  وهناك منح فى كافة المجالات  وهناك المشروعات البحثية والجامعة تعمل على تدعيم البحث العلمي بكل ما لديها من اماكانيات وطاقات ليعود بالنفع على المجتمع.
وقدم الدكتور السيد عبد الخالق الشكر للجهات المانحة على التعاون المثمر مع الجامعة وباحثيها
وأشار أننا نعد قانون جديد للتعليم العالي  وهناك باب كامل للبحث العلمي ويجب علينا أن نحقق التلاقي بين البحوث الأساسية والبحوث التطبيقية .
وأكد على ضرورة الاهتمام بالبحث العلمي الذي يعمل على تلبية احتياجاتنا وهناك هيئات تدعم الباحثين والمعامل وذلك يصب فى خدمة البحث العلمي وخدمة مصر كلها .
كما أشار أن الأمم تتسابق على المستقبل من خلال العقول والبحث العلمي و الجامعة لديها خطة للبحث العلمي ولدينا أولويات تراعى مشاكلنا في القطاع الصحي وقطاع الدواء  والقطاعات المختلفة .

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نائب رئيس مايكروسوفت: منتدى “مصر دوت بكرة” يقدم قيمة تعليمية نحتاجها

انطلقت، اليوم السبت، بالقاهرة أولى فعاليات منتدى مؤسسة “مصر دوت بكرة” لتنمية المهارات، بالتعاون مع الصندوق الاجتماعى للتنمية، بمشاركة عدد من الشركات متعددة الجنسيات والشركات المحلية، وأصحاب المشاريع الناجحة، ومنظمات الشباب والتنمية.

وقال على فرماوى، نائب رئيس مايكروسوفت العالمية وأحد مؤسسى “مصر دوت بكرة” وعضو مجلس إدارة الصندوق الاجتماعى للتنمية، إن المنتدى هدفه مد جسور التواصل بين الشباب والقيادات وكبار الشخصيات الناجحة بشكل دورى، بما يقدم قيمة تعليمية مضافة تختلف عن ما يقدم لشباب الجامعات ورواد الأعمال فضلا عن مد يد العون للشباب عن طريق تطوير أدواتهم العملية والحياتية، بالإضافة إلى استقبال مختلف مقترحات الشباب ومشروعاتهم وآرائهم وتشجعيهم على كيفية تنفيذها.

وأضاف “فرماوى”، فى كلمته بالمنتدى اليوم أن منتدى “مصر دوت بكرة” يهدف إلى تمكين الشباب على التفكير بشكل مختلف، وتحدى العقبات لتحقيق أحلامهم.

وأشار إلى أن مؤسسة مصر دوت بكرة ستساعدهم وستوفر لهم منصة جيدة لاستقبال أفكارهم ومشاريعهم، كما ستقدم لهم نماذج قدوة ناجحة للاستفادة من تجاربهم المضيئة، فالشباب المصرى هم الثروة الحقيقية لتنمية مصر والنهوض بها.

وأكد أن هذا الوقت مناسب لإعطاء الأمل والنور للشباب، وهو الفئة المستهدفة للخروج من أى أزمات والتطلع لمستقبل أفضل والاعتماد على النفس والفكر والمشاركة الفاعلة فى المجتمع.

ومن جانبها، قالت هناء الهلالى، القائم بأعمال الأمين العام للصندوق الاجتماعى للتنمية، إن المنتدى سيساعد فى تنمية أدوات ومهارات رواد الأعمال والشباب لتحسين الفرص الإنتاجية والعملية لهؤلاء الشباب، حيث يأتى التعاون مع المؤسسات ضمن إستراتيجية الصندوق للتنمية المعنية بخدمات تطوير الأعمال ذات الصلة لرواد الأعمال المبتدئين أو القائمين بالفعل، لتمكينهم من الحصول على مهارات متقدمة للدخول فى أسواق جديدة وفتح أسواق فى قطاعات مختلفة والتوسع فى الأنشطة المختلفة.

وأضافت أن هدف الصندوق الاجتماعى من خلال الفعاليات المختلفة إتاحة دعم المشروعات الصغيرة ومتناهية الصغر على اختلاف أنواعها وتطوير مناخ عملها، وتنفيذ العديد من البرامج التى تهدف إتاحة فرص عمل وزيادة القدرات والمهارات والتشغيل فى مشروعات تحسين البنية التحتية، والمجتمعية ومكافحة الفقر والعمل لتحقيق طموحات كل من لديه الرغبة والقدرة على إنشاء وتشغيل مشروعه الخاص.

يذكر أن مؤسسة “مصر دوت بكرة” مؤسسة للعمل التطوعى أنشأها مجموعة من المصريين العاملين فى مختلف المجالات، بهدف استعادة الروح المصرية الحقيقية، التى تسعى للبناء والتنمية، وتحقيق أقصى استفادة من التنوع الكبير للشعب المصرى وكل قدرات أفراده داخل وخارج مصر فى تقديم الأفكار لحل المشاكل والتواصل مع بعضهم البعض لتحقيق طفرة حقيقية يشعر بها المواطن البسيط، ودفع النمو الاقتصادى، وتعزيز الثقافة، واستخدام وسائل التكنولوجيا الحديثة والحلول العلمية لمواجهة المشاكل والتحديات الكبرى، التى تعانى منها البلاد.

وانطلقت فعاليات اليوم تحت شعار “أنت.. القرار ليك لوحدك”، بهدف توجيه وإرشاد نحو 500 شاب ورائد أعمال لتنمية مهاراتهم وأدواتهم، فى مختلف الاتجاهات “التسويق، الموارد البشرية، الإدارة، البحث، الابتكار، التنمية المجتمعية، ريادة الأعمال، المبيعات، إلخ..”، من خلال 50 موجها من كبار رجال الأعمال الناجحين ورؤساء الشركات الدولية والمحلية، وعدد من المشاهير والمسئولين فى عدد من القطاعات “التكنولوجيا، سلع استهلاكية والتجارة، والخدمات المصرفية”.

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How to Introduce Entrepreneurship Within a Young Democracy

Surprisingly, the number one aspiration for young Dominican adults is not to earn a college degree or own their own business, but to align themselves with a political party early on in life.During a recent Charlie Rose interview, Christine Lagarde, the president of the IMF (International Monetary Fund), shared her views with a packed audience of international economists in Washington D.C. on how young democracies such as South Africa or Malaysia commonly have fragile dual economies operating in parallel, one run by the ‘haves’ or wealthy, while the other by the ‘have nots’ or the impoverished.The wider the gap between the “haves” and “have nots” the greater the chance social unrest will follow, such as what happened in Egypt with the Arab Spring in 2011 and most recently in Brazil 2013. Other areas that could potentially erupt include Ukraine, Argentina, Greece, Indonesia, Pakistan… In fact the list of countries is so long that one might wonder, what exactly could the IMF or similar international financial institutions do differently and can lessons learned from one country be leveraged elsewhere?To further explore new insights with countries operating within dual economies, I recently led a facilitated discussion with 38 university students at the Universidad del Caribe (UNICARIBE) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. This island is a foothold for over 10 million inhabitants and a micro version of a typical young democracy. My goal was to hear how young Dominicans felt about their dual economy and extract a list of recommendations to pass along to political leaders and international creditors. I also hoped their ideas might offer new insights to other country leaders.Universidad del Caribe is not your typical university. With over 19,000 enrolled students and 330 instructors, the university covers an ambitious range of degrees and disciplines within a two building complex. Students work by day and attend classes, one to two days per week. Campus spirit is notably strong fueled by an enthusiastic faculty comprised of volunteers, many of whom hold other jobs to make ends meet.Life for a young impoverished Dominican is a daily challenge. Most will spend their lives operating undetected by government scrutiny in an underground economy where basic financial stopgaps such as access to credit for emergencies or a reasonably priced business loan are rarely accessible. Their greatest asset is their ingenuity and vibrant personality, which shines in much of what they do. Job security does not exist. They earn what they can from odd jobs, pay no taxes, and cut corners wherever and whenever by, for example, stealing electricity off the national grid. Providing for family needs consumes their meager incomes leaving them with little to no savings. In short they have few options within their reach to improve their livelihood.
Small, entrepreneur-run pharmacy in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Photo: Flickr
On the other side of the economic spectrum, the Dominican middleclass have their own set of problems. As avid consumers they buy beyond their means and spend much of their time fighting frivolous lawsuits or fulfilling new government requirements. Aside from having to pay income taxes, they are also saddled with higher utility bills required to offset the electricity stolen by freeloaders.Surprisingly, the number one aspiration for a young Dominican adult is not to earn a college degree or to own their own business but rather to align himself or herself with a political party early on in life. In their minds, the only way to obtain job security is by serving a well-connected political group. Competition for these positions can be fierce, not because of an over-supply of skilled workers, which are scarce to begin with, but more for the oversubscribed pool of politically connected job seekers.Open positions require a minimum of three years working experience, which leaves first time entrants with no other alternative than to join a political party. This type of politically motivated workforce, one based on connections rather than qualifications, tends to create a vicious circle. On the one hand, managers and leaders, also mentors, will send the wrong message to younger Dominicans who will see little value in advancing their own education or training, since the better paying jobs can be won with less effort through political connections. On the other hand, less qualified government officials are less inclined to require professional certifications from contractors to ensure that state-of-the-art services are rendered. The end result is a less competitive workforce.The upkeep for a politically motivated workforce can become prohibitively expensive for any government. Venezuela and Cuba are two good examples where individuals are forced into political alliances for fear of being denied even basic services. Over time the workforce becomes lazy, and their leaders complacent. To please their international creditors, government officials devalue their local currency, which only makes matters worse with higher inflation rates. Eventually, both public and private sectors become trapped by the weight of their own unwillingness to progress. Adding to the malaise are party leaders who fail to recognize the immense value their Informal Sector could otherwise render with existing resources. Instead they would rather keep a tight lid on their potentially vibrant young workforce who due to their discouragement will enter a life of crime making matters even worse for their government and the rest of society.With these facts on hand, I asked the discussion group what they thought was the root cause for their dysfunctional dual economy. Some cited a lack of women’s rights as they affect the welfare of the family unit. Others pointed to the criminal justice system for sending hardened criminals back on the streets without offering them a job or alternative form of income. After a lively exchange, the unanimous vote for the root cause focused on the country’s weak judicial system.According to the participants, on paper the justice system appears formidable, while in practice, it is virtually spineless. Laws are readily legislated, approved, and published to please voters; however, in the courtroom, these same laws are rarely enforced as written or at all. For the right price, a political leader or powerful investor can influence a judge’s decision to their advantage.Despite their impoverished status, these 38 student/workers recognized the importance an independent legal system. Participants noted that whenever politicians or influencers are allowed to operate above the law, trust between the government and its people erodes. This same feeling of distrust infiltrates society and its family units creating a precariously, wider gap in their dual economy. This revelation raised an important question.In a dual economy governed by a biased legal system, what can the government and international financial institutions such as the IMF do differently to create a brighter future for the Dominican Republic?To counter the gap-widening effects caused by a weak judicial system, the group suggested the formation of a student entrepreneur association based out of the University del Caribe. Members would join the Association then be matched through an interviewing process according to skills, experience, and interest to a cluster of no more than ten students each. Each cluster would be be guided and arbitrated by a university appointed mentor. At least one member of a cluster would have a specific entrepreneurial venture in mind or a launched startup in its initial stages. Members of a cluster would become the new startup’s board of advisors and help in their varying capacities to further the entrepreneur’s venture. As the venture grows, members of the board of advisors can opt to work for the new entity or start their own venture within their same cluster. The University would act as an independent arbitrator to ensure members adhere to a clear set of rules and contracts.On an interesting side note, one individual admitted that if a cluster were to help him launch his dream construction business, he would most likely leave the cluster and not return the favor. His revealing comment confirmed the inherent distrust among his peers, which our facilitated discussion found to be primarily caused by the lack of an independent judicial system in the country. His comment re-enforces the University’s role as the cluster’s so called “mini judicial system,” one that is independently operated. Initially the process will most likely be an uphill battle but after a few success stories should convince others of the many benefits that can be gained from trusting each other.Although our time ran out, other questions remained unanswered that could serve for future facilitated discussions. For example, how should the contract among members be drafted and how should the spoils and liabilities of a successful launch be structured to ensure a sustainable business? Of course, securing funding for mentors, garnering support from government officials, attracting outside investors, and designing an eco-system for future entrepreneurs are important topics too. After the discussion ended, the enthusiasm from both the students and faculty was evident by the clusters that began to form immediately among them.As I listened to their animated voices, I could not help but think how this two-hour discussion, with a sample of prospective local entrepreneurs, could potentially change the course of a nation. Hopefully, members of the IMF and other international financial institutions can learn from this case study and consider including a similar cluster program as a funding requirement for young democracies. – See more at:

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حوار مع مدير مركز ريادة الأعمال بشركة Dell

أثناء تغطية برينور مصر لفعاليات حفل تخرج الدفعة الأولي من أكاديمية بداية للشركات الناشئة تم عقد ورشة عمل تحت اسم “نظرة مقارنة علي بيئة الأعمال الريادية حول العالم” وفور إنتهاء ورشة العمل كان برينور مصر هذا اللقاء مع مدير مركز ريادة الأعمال بشركة ديل السيد برستون جيمس والذي نلخصه لزوار موقعنا في الفقرة التالية

ما الذي ينقص مجتمع ريادة الأعمال في مصر ؟

في رأي تحتاج ريادة الأعمال في مصر إلي ::

١- تواجد قوي للقطاع الخاص

٢- تواجد أكبر لشركات ضمان المخاطر التي تستهدف الأفكار الجديدة و الإختراعات و الإبتكارات بالإضافة إلي الشركات متناهية الصغر.

بتوافر هذان العنصران الرئيسيان سوف يكون مجتمع ريادة الأعمال في مصر قوي و ثري. وضرب لنا مثلاً علي ذلك وهو إسرائيل حيث أن بها مستثمرين يضخون أموالاً كثيرة في الأفكار الجديدة و الشركات الناشئة وهو ما أثمر عن نمو ونشاط مجتمع ريادة الأعمال في إسرائيل و الظهور المستمر لمنتجات جديدة والمثال علي ذلك تطبيق واتس أب WHats App

إلي هنا إنتهي حوارنا القصير مع المسئول الأول عن ريادة الأعمال بشركة ديل السيد بريستون جيمس و نرجو أن نكون قد نقلنا الصورة واضحة لمتخذي القرار في مصر.

الترجمة الإنجليزية للمقال ::

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