International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has announced the launch of a two-year program to support the development of fintech space in Egypt.
IFC is partnering with two fintech-focused accelerators, Pride Capital & Startupbootcamp’s FinTech Cairo and AUC Venture Lab, to help them improve their offering in the areas of mentorship, business development and technical training, IFC said in a statement yesterday, adding that they will also help the startups in attracting investment.
Rami El Dokany, Chief Executive Officer of Pride Capital, speaking about the partnership, said, “Through this newly established partnership with IFC, the Startupbootcamp Pride FinTech Cairo program is creating a top-notch pipeline of startups. It is giving entrepreneurs access to unparalleled expertise and a network of industry professionals. Our work has helped drive innovation in areas like microfinance, payments, person-to-person lending, consumer banking, and identity authentication, demonstrating the impact that can be achieved by supporting Egyptian entrepreneurs.”
Dr. Sherif Kamel, Dean of AUC School of Business, commenting on the occasion, said, “Over the past three years, AUC Venture Lab has accelerated 23 early-stage startups working in the area of financial technologies through its FinTech Accelerator Program. This new partnership between the School of Business and IFC will help us extend our support to more innovative startups in this rapidly evolving industry, and to maximize our impact on the Egyptian economy towards broader financial inclusion.”
According to the statement by IFC, there are currently close to 50 fintech startups that are active in Egypt at the moment and the number is expected to increase. The government has also been taking different measures lately to push the use of technology for increasing financial inclusion in the country.
Egypt’s central bank recently said that it will soon establish a $58 million fund to invest in fintech startups in the country.
“Fintech has the potential to reshape the banking industry and is growing rapidly in light of the Government’s commitment to financial inclusion. Innovative solutions like mobile payments and online banking can provide easy and affordable access to financial services. By supporting innovative fintech startups, the program aspires to support IFC’s efforts in expanding financial inclusion across the country,” said IFC in the statement.
Walid Labadi, IFC Country Manager for Egypt, Libya and Yemen, speaking about the program, said, “With the right support, entrepreneurs can create much-needed jobs and develop technology that makes life better for people across the country,” said “This program will help unlock the potential of young entrepreneurs and lay the foundation for an ecosystem that supports innovation in the financial services industry.”
The program will complement World Bank Group’s ongoing efforts for enhancing and improving the enabling environment for digital finance to support the growth of fintech startups in Egypt.