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24 Nov 2023

Cooperation between GAFI and AfDB for Supporting Entrepreneurship in the Governorates

The General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) and the African Development Bank (AFDB) organized a workshop to spread the culture of entrepreneurship in Alexandria within the framework of the project “Strengthening the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem” funded by AFDB, which includes all governorates of Egypt. 

The workshop was attended by Dr. Dina El-Gayar, Executive Director of the Project Management Unit at Alexandria University, Dr. Ayman El-Nahas, in charge of the entrepreneurship file at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT), Mrs. Amal Khairy, Alexandria Governor’s Office representative, Mr. Ayman Issa, Director of the Industrial Modernization Center (IMC), Alexandria Branch, Mrs. Nevin Mohamed Adel, Director of the Projects Unit at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and a number of entrepreneurs and university students. The project aims to develop an attractive framework for entrepreneurship activities at the governorate level; integrating the efforts of the parties concerned with entrepreneurship activities; implementing a group of training tours and workshops to spread the idea of entrepreneurship among university youth; and focusing on economic resources and investment opportunities in each governorate.

Mr. Hossam Abdel Qader, Head of GAFI Central Department for Entrepreneurship (Fekretak Sherketak), reviewed the services provided by GAFI to entrepreneurs and startups, starting with the preparation of feasibility studies, the incorporation of companies, and establishment of administrative structures, up until embracing companies and boosting their growth. In addition to linking startups with investment funds and local and foreign investors. Representatives of government entities attending the workshop reviewed each entity’s efforts to support entrepreneurship, which will be included and integrated within a special platform for the Entrepreneurship Unit of the Council of Ministers, to be launched in the coming months. The platform will provide services to all parties concerned with entrepreneurship activities, including training, guidance, financing, capacity building, feasibility studies, and all steps of incorporation, operation, and investment. 

The platform will also serve four main categories: (i) entrepreneurs; (ii) entrepreneurship sponsors such as incubators, accelerators and universities; (iii) investment funds; and (iv) experts in the fields needed by entrepreneurs. During the workshop activities, success stories of entrepreneurs in Alexandria Governorate were presented. Ms. Nermin Marzouk, Deputy Project Director of the Enhancement of the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem (EEE) grant project, explained the advantages of such grant that the African Development Bank provides. Among these advantages is that entrepreneurs to incorporate companies may engage consulting companies to receive free consultations in this respect. 

Moreover, the grant will comprise training workshops, distributed all over Egypt, and it will focus on empowering female entrepreneurs. Dr. Dina El-Gayar mentioned that Alexandria University helps its students to pass the first steps in learning about the world of entrepreneurship through training courses and workshops, especially in the fields that link entrepreneurship activities with the development goals of the State. Moreover, Dr. Ayman El-Nahhas confirmed that entrepreneurship activities at AASTMT extends beyond the scope of the academy, as it offers training and networking opportunities with the business sector for those having distinguished ideas whether they are students at AASTMT or not. Ms. Amal Khairy introduced the attendees to the services provided by Alexandria Governorate to support the investment movement in general, and entrepreneurship activities in particular.