USAID’s SEED supports the development of entrepreneurship among youth and women through the growth and competitiveness of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) by improving access to high-quality public and private services. The project operates throughout Egypt and focuses on select value chains including ready-made garments, plastics, automotive accessories, dairy, and fisheries. An emphasis is placed on MSMEs that are woman-owned or have the potential to hire significant numbers of women and youth.
The project strengthens the ability of MSME incubators and Business Development Service (BDS) providers to support the formation, growth, and expansion of MSMEs in Egypt. The project supports financial service providers provide access to finance for MSMEs while also strengthening the capacity of BDS providers to offer trainings and technical assistance needed by MSMEs. The project supports entrepreneurship education, mentorship, and business plan competitions; connects MSMEs with buyers; and works with business associations to improve the ease of doing business in Egypt. SEED leverages private sector finance by encouraging corporate social responsibility (CSR) among private firms.
In addition to working with the private sector, SEED improves Egypt’s business environment by working with the public sector on evidence-based analyses and policy implementation. The project also facilitates public-private sector dialogue on major laws and regulations affecting entrepreneurs and MSMEs.
- Improve the quality, availability, and accessibility of business development services, including financial services – and connect entrepreneurs and MSMEs with these services.
- Introduce entrepreneurship education in high schools and universities.
- Encourage formalization of informal enterprises – and link these formal enterprises with established firms to assist in their integration into international value chains.
- Provide demand-driven technical assistance, allowing Government of Egypt (GOE) counterparts and business associations to prioritize areas in which they would most benefit from technical assistance; provide technical assistance on conducting policy analysis and participate in public-private dialogue related to MSMEs.
- Promote the concept of corporate social responsibility among the private sector as a means of sustainable finance for development programs.
- Through 15 startup weekends and business plan competitions, SEED connected nearly 2,793 young entrepreneurs with a network of accomplished mentors to help translate their ideas into practical business models.
- Helped an additional 1,413 entrepreneurs connect with and benefit from incubators, where revenue growth of 495% was generated by incubated startups.
- Supported 1,152 entrepreneurs to further refine their business models and launch viable business ventures.
- SEED has supported 3,105 persons to receive new or better employment. Over the past three years of the project, 143 USAID-supported startups have introduced new products and services to the market.
USAID’s SEED extensive Support program has been provided for each incubator in the forms of
- Capacity Building and training modules
- Technical Assistance; one-on-one sessions from local and international incubator consultants and USAID’s SEED staff
- ICT Equipment
- Furniture to the co-working space
- Fabrication Labs Equipment
- Incubators Study Tour to the US
- Establish new Tamayouz /One Stop Shop (OSS) centers and support the existing OSS centers to facilitate the registration and licensing needs of SMEs
- Establish Business Development Services (BDS) centers to provide non-financial services to MSMEs to support their growth and expansion
- Coordinate and support financial institutions to develop new or update existing financial products to meet the financial needs of MSMEs in the value chains supported by SEED
- Build the capacity of financial institutions to increase outreach and access to finance for MSMEs
- Increase the awareness of financial services through training of trainers (TOTs) in financial literacy for financial and non-financial institutions with the goal to cascade knowledge to potential and existing MSMEs and other key players within the MSME development eco-system.
Trained 47 business development centers and 11 incubators in business development services that have helped 454 microenterprises and 97 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) improve their management methods based on international best practices. Developed two mobile applications to increase accessibility of these services.
Through training on product development and social performance management, supported 27 financial service institutions to finance over 8,700 aspiring entrepreneurs, including women and youth.
SEED supported the integration of 45 MSMEs into larger supply chains and the participation of more than 65 MSMEs in national and international exhibitions, at which they concluded deals totaling approximately $318,845 in initial orders.
Established the Women’s Entrepreneurship Network (WEN) in partnership with women-focused organizations such as the National Council for Women (NCW), the Alexandria Businesswomen’s Association (ABWA), FEI, and the Business Women of Egypt 21. SEED project helped the WEN formulate its vision to better serve women in starting and managing their own businesses.
Through a public-private dialogue, drafted proposed regulations for incubators and accelerators to be included in the new MSME law. In collaboration with the Egyptian Franchise Development Association (EFDA) and the Egyptian Regulatory Reform and Development Activity (ERRADA), identified key policy issues and supported the drafting process of the new Franchising Law through a dialogue with private companies and investors.