CAIRO: The growth of local small and medium businesses can help directly alleviate poverty by increasing income levels and creating jobs, experts said at a recent technology event.
“There is huge potential in the small- and medium-business (SMB) market in Egypt, which represents 80 percent of GDP and 75 percent of the labor force, said Karim El Fateh, Intel business development manager of Egypt, Levant and North Africa.
Speaking at Intel s latest event, titled “Grow Your Business Through Technology Leadership, El Fateh said, cost-effective technology solutions are “instrumental to driving results and growth, especially for SMEs.
The event set out to help SMBs and SMEs deploy Intel technology in streamlining their operations, Intel said in a press statement. These enterprises usually have no more than 250 employees.
The fastest PC market growth is coming from small sized companies, with an estimated 2 million registered SMEs in Egypt. According to a survey conducted by Microsoft, only 10 percent of 400,000 medium/large sized companies operating in Egypt have installed computers.
Guests included owners of SMBs, clients of the Social Fund for Development (SFD), policymakers, NGOs and business associations.
Partnering with Intel at the event was the SFD, which previously signed an agreement to deliver cost-effective, “Arabized technology to Egypt’s SMBs.
Yasser Helmy, director of the Smart Village Office of the SFD, said, “Working with industry leaders with global expertise and local know-how is integral to the success of this program. We are pleased to have seen such a tremendous response from Egyptian businesses and to play a role in encouraging fresh ideas and talent.
Intel began this SMB initiative by working with SFD, Cisco, Microsoft, TE Data, ISP, MicroTech, ISV and four integrators on developing a one-stop-shop solution for SMBs/SMEs. The four integrators include Raya, Centra, Asma, and Bahgat, the latter will carry out a demo of the solution in their booth during the event.
The solution offers an Intel Core 2 Duo based PC, basic accounting and CRM applications, bundled with Cisco router and internet connectivity, said the company.
Speeches were given by Intel executives including Khaled Elamrawi, Intel’s general manger of Egypt, Levant and North Africa, in addition to speeches by executives from Fujitsu Siemens and the SFD about products and solutions for SMBs, and increasing their competitiveness.
The new solution will be rolled out in three phases. The first phase will provide general, horizontal solutions – accounting and CRM – followed by phase two, which will begin looking into more vertical applications (such as pharmacy applications). Finally, phase three will introduce multi-national and mobility solutions.