Egypt’s small and medium-sized enterprise sector involves 1.7 million businesses, which account for 44.6 percent of the establishments involved in the formal sector, according to Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Saeed, nothing the sector had been affected by the coronavirus crisis.
The sector also employs 5.8 million people, or 43.1 percent of total workers in the formal private sector.
El-Saeed said on Thursday that Egypt is working to encourage all programmes and initiatives that support SMEs’ development efforts, through expanding the establishment of industrial complexes that include a heavy labour force, such as Damietta City for furniture and Al Robaki City for leather.
In this regard, the government has set up 4,500 serviced industrial units, including 750 units in the cities of 10 Ramadan City and Margham, and in the Red Sea governorate.
She highlighted the Rowad 2030 (“rowad” meaning pioneers in Arabic) projects that the planning ministry has launched with the aim of supporting young people’s capabilities and progressing their skills in order to turn their ideas into real projects.
“Rowad 2030 established nine business incubators in the artificial intelligence (AI) and tourism sectors, in addition to an Egyptian-African business incubator. It also incubated 19 projects in the Mashreq Tourism Incubator and established entrepreneurship monitor ‘Rowad Meter,’ which is an updated national database that provides data about all entrepreneurs and business incubators in Egypt,” said El-Saeed, who was participating in a virtual panel organised by the International Council for Small Business, under the heading “Entrepreneurship, SMEs, and Micro-Projects’ Future in the Post-COVID-19 Phase.”