Global Entrepreneurship Week kicks off in Egypt

The world’s largest celebration of entrepreneurship kicked off in Egypt on Sunday November 12th with the policy forum and will continue until next Monday.

Under the patronage of Minister of Industry and Trade Tarek Qabil, the week is organised by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) and sponsored by Tatweer Misr for the third year running.

The policy forum has the objective of seeking policy-oriented solutions to the challenges faced by the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Promoting entrepreneurship and enhancing SMEs have been at the core of Egypt national policy agenda, a priority that has been primarily reflected in the establishment of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority.

Against this backdrop, it is important to highlight the major challenges that may work as obstacles for the development of SMEs in Egypt and to outline the possible approaches to address these challenges.

“Our sponsorship of GEW is in its third year and is part of our broader commitment to support education and entrepreneurship” Ahmed Shalaby, Managing Director of Tatweer Misr, said.

As a company, Tatweer Misr has taken on education and entrepreneurship as its primary citizenship agenda believing that education is one of the best investments made to address some of the biggest challenges of tomorrow.

“This is a key part of our company’s corporate responsibility agenda; to help establish a long-term pipeline of high-growth businesses, driving job creation and economic growth at a local and national level.” Shalaby explained.

In line with this, Tatweer Misr has partnered with a number of young entrepreneurs with potential in their business model. It has also over the years sponsored and implemented a wide number of initiatives including innovation awards, supporting young entrepreneurs, sponsoring various initiatives for youth, and many other things that have directly or indirectly contributed towards their twin objectives of entrepreneurship and education.

Launched for the first time in 2008, GEW organizes thousands of events and competitions during one week in November each year, expanding to 170 countries in 2017 and hosting over 35000 events. From large-scale competitions and events to intimate networking gatherings, the initiative aims to connect participants to potential collaborators, mentors and investors, boosting startup ecosystems around the world. This year, the event will gather about 10 million people worldwide that will take part in this annual celebration, this is considered the largest participation since its inception.

“This is the tenth anniversary for the GEW and since its inception Egypt has witnessed a remarkable transformation as well as an unprecedented interest in the field of SMEs, especially since President al-Sisi took over the leadership of our country; this will cause a paradigm shift invariably leading to exponential growth of our national economy, put a limit to unemployment, as well as empower young people.” Ahmed Osman, Senior Vice President of the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), said.

The anchor event of GEW Egypt this year is the Egypt Entrepreneurship Summit 2017, which will begin on November 16, and runs through November 19 in Hurghada. The conference is organized in partnership with organizations such as International Labour Organization, Ministry of International Cooperation of Egypt and Tatweer Misr.  Attending key speakers will be Ahmed Osman, GEW Egypt host, along with Peter van Rooij, of the ILO Cairo Office, as well as Ahmed Abdullah, Governor of the Red Sea, Egypt , Ahmed Shalaby, Managing Director and Board Member of Tatweer Misr.

The conference covers a wide range of topics in a diverse number of sessions over the period of three days ranging from entrepreneurial education, or entrepreneurship in the media tackling such issues as Entrepreneurship in TVET Education & Programs and Social Media influencers, financial inclusion, the role of women in entrepreneurship in sessions such as “What Works in Promoting Entrepreneurship for Rural Women.”

In addition, a number of sessions which will be held on the role of ICSB ranging from sessions on the ICSB Academy to various topics including education and the ecosystem.