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Egypt, International Finance Corporation rally to support Next 100 African Start-ups

Egypt, International Finance Corporation rally to support Next 100 African Start-ups

Egypt and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have collaborated to introduce the Next 100 African Start-ups – a new funding initiative to support budding tech entrepreneurs.

In 2017 the North African country's ICT and Investment Cooperation Ministries launched the Fekretak Sherketak program to empower tech start-ups with funding, mentorship and training.

According to the IFC, which falls under the World Bank, Egyptian venture firms and accelerators such as Egypt Ventures, Falak Start-ups and EFG-EV Fintech, have also come into the fray through "joint investments with the private sector and international financial institutions."

Now the IFC and the Egyptian Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation are seeking to extend this support across Africa.

Those ventures that are successful in their application to the program will receive additional support in the form of capacity and connection platforms with business leaders and international investors and financial institutions.

They will also attend the Africa 2018 Forum as the IFC intensifies its efforts to boost entrepreneurship in the Middle East and Africa "by helping start-ups access much-needed financing, receive advice, and break into new" markets.

Sahar Nasr, the Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation said that "bright young minds of our continent" have to be "equipped with the tools they need, including finance, advice, and networks, that would enable them to innovate" and grow their solutions.

"Through nurturing the entrepreneurship ecosystem, we believe we can unlock the potential of African youth to become more globally competitive, and to more actively contribute to the development of their communities," said Nasr.

It is understood that the IFC, over the past two years, has provided nearly US$65 million in funding to technology companies and start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa.

It has also worked "alongside leading accelerators and venture funds like Wamda, Flat6Labs, and Algebra Ventures," it explained.

Sérgio Pimenta, vice president at the IFC for Africa and the Middle East, "Supporting entrepreneurs is one of the best ways to drive innovation and create jobs in Africa. That's what this forum will help do."

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