Entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa is ready to compete on a global level, believes Mai Medhat, CEO of Eventtus. Her statement comes after receiving the opportunity to be live onstage at this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Silicon Valley with President Barack Obama, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and two other entrepreneurs from Rwanda and Peru.
In 2015, four acquisitions and investment deals were signed between foreign investors and Egyptian companies.
Among the most prominent deals was Fawry for e-payment solutions, which was acquired in a deal worth $100m. Another example is the UAE Investment Fund (KBBO) investing $2.7m in the Egyptian online price comparison site Yaoota.
The job search engine Wuzzuf received an investment of $1.7m from the Swedish company Vostok New Ventures and the British company Piton Capital for acquiring 25% of the company.
Only a few weeks ago, Instabug obtained $1.7m in funding from Accel Venture Partners.
Local and foreign investors are expected to inject between $300m and $400m worth of investments into Egypt’s entrepreneurship ecosystem this year, according to Dr. Khaled Ismail, founder and chairperson of angel investment fund KIangel.
During the panel, Medhat shared her story of how Eventtus first started and how it expanded in Dubai. Eventtus has been a partner to entrepreneurship events across the Middle East. More than 800 organisers have used Eventtus to manage more than 7,500 events, including Harvard Arab weekend in the USA, DMG events, ArabNet, and RiseUp Summit. The company is currently also working with Dubai Expo 2020.
Entrepreneurship has been growing steadily in Egypt, despite the economic challenges and obstacles the sector is facing.
The past two years saw many success stories surfacing from the local entrepreneurship ecosystem, such as Integreight, Wuzzuf, Instabug, and Kijami. “We’re facing challenges, but we’re getting there,” Medhat told Obama.