Nilepreneurs: national initiative aims to support small projects, entrepreneurs

Hossam Mounir
8 Min Read

Nilepreneurs is a national initiative that was launched in February 2019 after a trial year, sponsored and funded by the Central Bank of Egypt.

The initiative educates young people about entrepreneurship, and is supervised by the Nile University in cooperation with the Ministry of Planning, the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA), and many relevant authorities.

Among the objectives of the initiative are strengthening the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurial sector in improving the gross domestic product (GDP), establishing integrated business development centres, creating new job opportunities, increasing exports, replacing imports with local product, and stimulating innovation and creativity climate.

The initiative offers many different programmes, which target a variety of groups, ranging from young people to well established innovators, and even small and medium business owners.

The initiative aims to support small projects and entrepreneurs with the participation and integration of all relevant authorities, and to provide a comprehensive and effective infrastructure that supports these projects, starting from the initial idea to establishing the company, while encouraging growth, expansion, and innovation, as well as deepening local manufacturing.

The initiative’s endeavours are meant to have a tangible presence throughout Egypt through various business development centres. These centres will be linked to the Egypt Projects electronic platform established by MSMEDA in order to build an integrated database of entrepreneurs.

Initiative’s programmes

The awareness programme is considered the Nilepreneurs’ first interface, facilitated by different communication platforms from Egyptian universities. Through various scientific institutions, Nilepreneurs will be releasing publications on current developmental topics and guides for potential business leaders to use and enjoy.

The awareness programme will be operational in all governorates, and funds are allocated annually. The programme relies on spreading pioneering ideas through certified expert trainers.

The initiative will also offer specialised programmes young people, leaders, and startups in the engineering and agribusiness fields to help transform their innovative ideas into products or services. Entrepreneurs aged 21 or more and startups that have models that can meet the needs of the market or increase domestic production are eligible.

This programme aims to increase the contribution of small companies operating in the agricultural and industrial sectors to the national economy, by providing the advanced capabilities necessary for growing promising companies, while guiding these companies through the business development sector.

Business development centres

Business development centres are centres affiliated with banks, MSMEDA, and other concerned authorities, and aim to develop projects, whether governmental or private sector, throughout Egypt. The services provided within these centres include making information and data available through the Egypt Projects platform, capacity building, and vocational training for small and medium companies and entrepreneurs, enabling small and medium companies to finance and develop their businesses, empower women and youth in developing their businesses, and supporting the elderly and those with special needs in establishing and developing small and medium companies, while supporting the transfer of small and medium companies from the informal sector to the formal sector.

Design House

Design House provides all the technical and engineering requirements and equipment for designing prototypes for projects and product ideas, and provides engineering consultations for entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into reality. Through Design House, programme participants may receive advice or ideas on how to better able have their products manufactured in the local market. Design House is meant o be a collaborative space for people with experience in engineering, production, and technical expertise to come together and help physically create a product and streamline it.

Business accelerators

Business accelerators embrace ideas and provide all kinds of financial and technical support until the establishment of the project until its growth and maturity.

Nilepreneurs Academy

Nilepreneurs Academy aims to support and qualify entrepreneurs and business owners to establish their projects and ensure their continuity and growth.

Miniature factory

Participants are guided on how the physical production of their products takes place. Here, participants learn how to create a production model and receive estimates on production time.

Business Incubators

Business incubators have been established at the initiative’s headquarters, and these incubators provide technical, financial, administrative, and legal support in addition to providing a workspace for companies in their incubation period. The services provided within the Nilepreneurs’ incubators are diverse, provide support for product development, marketing, registration, as well as networking with investors, industry, all while offering various research and information services.

The business incubators area of support will cover furniture, designs, packaging, engineering and chemical industries, technology and automation, export support, and entrepreneurial simulation games.

Public-private partnership

The public-private partnership aims to bridge the gap between technical education and the labour market, and to build a new generation of technicians with skills suited to the needs of the market to increase their employability in factories.

Al Asmarat School of Technical Education is the first model of this partnership. It is a school in the field of fashion design and is financed by the National Bank of Egypt. Students here have all the necessary space and equipment provided for them and the programme is managed by Bishara Fashion in order to better supply them with expertise and market their products.


This programme aims to produce moulds used in local manufacturing in order to reduce importation.

Integration and development of value chains

It is a programme where specialised experts analyse market value chains, and the targeted sector is involved in the results of chains and the methodology for implementing activities. After which, the different groups of producers, manufacturers, and marketers are targeted to build up their capabilities before being directed towards sector development.

Export qualification

Currently, work is being done in order to provide technical support for companies registered in export councils in order to enter foreign markets via European Union initiatives in cooperation with the Chamber of Engineering Industries.

Moving from informal to formal sector

It is a specialised programme to provide assistance and qualify projects operating in the informal sector and integrate them into the formal sector.

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