By: Nada Badawi
The US Government’s Global Entrepreneurship Programme (GEP) and Egypt’s Association for Women’s Total Advancement and Development (AWTAD), in cooperation with the Women’s Business Development Centre (WBDC), offered their expertise via 15 business mentors to over 30 entrepreneurs in a one-on-one mentoring event last week.
“Supporting women business owners is crucial to promoting increased prosperity for Egypt’s families,” said Mary Ott, mission director for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) which is funding the GEP programme, in a press release.
USAID’s GEP aims at launching new start-up businesses, helping them grow, mentoring owners and facilitating their finances.
“Mentoring helps new entrepreneurs to address barriers they face in growing their businesses in realistic and powerful ways.”
Ott stated that mentoring represents a golden opportunity for Egyptian businesswomen to meet new entrepreneurs who provide a deeper understanding of the business scene.
“It provides them with valuable networks to build their businesses, address challenges, market linkages, financing and create jobs,” said Ott.
Last year, hundreds of Egyptian entrepreneurs participated in a competition, designed and sponsored by USAID and the GEP programme, where aspiring participants pitched ideas, formed models, developed prototypes and presented their final ideas over a period of just three days.
In 2011, the same competition was held, with seven new businesses launched, including three that were owned by women.
Since 2011, the US, through its USAID’s GEP, has supported Egypt’s economic growth by providing training, mentoring and links to help fund entrepreneurs, both men and women.
“The programme helps women across Egypt who have entrepreneurial ideas and inspiration to turn those ideas into successful businesses,” said Ott.