The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) provides the majority of its budget to support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in telecommunications and the information technology sector.
The agency’s budget for the current fiscal year (FY) 2015/2016 is EGP 300m, according to a report by ITIDA.
ITIDA supports these companies through more than 10 specialised programmes; its goal is to develop the capabilities of SMEs to increase their competitiveness, such as the ‘Grow It’ programme whereby each company receives a maximum of EGP 100,000 a year in support.
The support provided is calculated by an incremental rate, according to the size of the company. Micro-enterprises receive 90% off the provided consulting services whereas medium-sized companies receive a 70% discount.
ITIDA also promotes Egyptian telecommunications and information technology SMEs in Africa to contribute to increasing the sector’s exports through the ‘Africa Together’ programme, which features targeted market data in Africa and organises Egyptian companies’ commercial flights to these targeted markets.
The agency’s ‘Commercial Trips’ programme supports domestic companies in their business visits to international exhibitions with a maximum of EGP 100,000 per company a year. This programme provides 70% off the total cost of the trip, and aims to open new markets for Egyptian companies.
According to the ITIDA report, the agency has assigned EGP 40m to support SME exports through the ‘Export It’ programme with financial support ranging between 10% and 20% of its export value at a maximum of EGP 4m a year. The programme aims to increase the information technology sector’s exports.
Since its launch in 2010, 121 SMEs have benefited from this programme. ITIDA has provided approximately EGP 150m, while total exports reached EGP 3bn.
The ‘Finance It’ programme supports companies with their finances by granting them 50% off the due interest on loans.
This programme also allows companies to receive financial support through the “Bedaya” investment fund, which provides EGP 30m for the telecommunication and information technology sector. The agency provides 80% of the fees required to list a SME’s securities in Nile Exchange, and has assigned EGP 20m to support them.
Through its professional development programme, entitled ‘SME Product Development Support’, ITIDA aids the development of Egyptian companies’ products.