Egypt’s startup ecosystem is becoming the fastest in MENA
How can Nexford support entrepreneurship in Egypt?
“Egypt’s startup scene will continue to witness strong growth as a result of several factors including a large youth population and increasing availability of funding,” Nexford University Founder and CEO, Fadl Al Tarzi told Daily News Egypt.
What is your vision about the entrepreneurial activity in Egypt?
I think Egypt’s startup scene will continue to witness strong growth as a result of several factors including a large youth population and increasing availability of funding. The ecosystem has evolved a great deal recently resulting in Egypt becoming the fastest growing startup ecosystem in MENA.
What opportunities do you see available in Egypt to support entrepreneurs?
While I’m not actively involved in the Egyptian entrepreneurship scene, from what I can see there is definitely a lot more funding available, more incubators, more accelerators and overall a more mature ecosystem. I remember launching my 1st startup in Egypt almost 20 years ago, there were 0 real venture capitals at that time.
According to Nexford, are there any challenges facing entrepreneurs in Egypt?
As with any nation there will be challenges but I wouldn’t say they’re particularly unique to Egypt. From my perspective I can see two challenges remain: support plus legislation. Support beyond funding remains limited; entrepreneurs still need a lot more mentorship and support from people with real experience in building businesses from the ground up. Then comes the legal environment, while it has evolved, it is still significantly behind in terms of level of flexibility and innovation. This will naturally affect some industries more than others, for instance fintech startups are likely to have a much harder time vs a food delivery app.
What role can Nexford play to support entrepreneurs in Egypt?
We can help with skills plus global perspective. I think one of the main points entrepreneurs often overlook is the fact that their startup does not need to limit its ambition to the local market. At Nexford, we help entrepreneurs master the skills they need to build their startup such as the practical knowledge of finance and cashflow management which so many founders, especially tech founders, usually know very little about. We also give them a global perspective where they can learn about the successes and failures of companies from across the world and apply those learnings to their own startups.
What qualities or conditions does Nexford see obligatory in a successful entrepreneur?
Grit and resilience.