NilePreneurs Provided 430,000 Non-Financial Services to Over 147,000 Projects

The Central Bank of Egypt’s initiative “NilePreneurs” announced that its Business Development Service (BDS) Hubs, which were established within banks’ branches, youth centers, and universities, have contributed to providing around 430,000 non-financial and advisory services to over 147,000 beneficiaries, including entrepreneurs, startups, and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Furthermore, these hubs facilitated access to finance for 9,000 projects worth a total of EGP 6.7 billion.

Since the launch of the Central Bank of Egypt’s “NilePreneurs” initiative in February 2019, and over the span of 5 years, the BDS Hubs provided non-financial services to nearly 50,000 newly established projects and 64,000 existing businesses. These services include assisting them in preparing economic feasibility studies and financial evaluations, providing guidance on obtaining the necessary licenses and preparing the credit files to secure financing from financial institutions among other services. Additionally, these Hubs contribute to facilitating more than 170,000 banking services, issuing over 75,000 bank cards (Including Meeza, debit and credit cards), creating around 25,000 electronic wallets, and about 15,000 internet banking accounts, as well as providing more than 10,000 mobile wallet accounts, opening over 20,000 bank accounts and more than 4,000 bank Certificates of Deposit (CDs) for the benefit of entrepreneurs, startups, as well as Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Within the framework of achieving economic empowerment for women, the BDS Hubs were keen to provide women-owned projects with the necessary support, whereas they contributed to financing nearly 2,000 projects with around EGP 680 million over the last 5 years. In addition, the Hubs offered non-financial advisory services to about 48,000 women entrepreneurs, equivalent to 33% of the total beneficiaries.

In this context, Mr. Sherif Lokman, Sub-Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) for Financial Inclusion, emphasized that the CBE is collaborating with all the relevant stakeholders to support entrepreneurs and MSMEs. Additionally, CBE urges the banking sector to provide them with the necessary non-financial and advisory services, in alignment to the integrated vision aimed at achieving economic empowerment for these segments, especially women-owned projects, as well as creating more job opportunities for youth and unprivileged segments, and integrating the informal sector into the formal economy. These efforts contribute to promoting financial inclusion and achieving the Sustainable Development Strategy (SDGs) in light of Egypt’s Vision 2030.

Furthermore, Mr. Lokman underlined that the effective participation of the banking sector, as well as the governmental and academic entities in “NilePreneurs” initiative had a pivotal contribution in increasing the number of BDS Hubs – established within the initiative -, reaching 110 Hubs that cover 24 governorates. Mr. Lokman also stressed that the CBE aims at increasing the number of the BDS Hubs during the upcoming period, in addition to expanding their geographic presence across the Egyptian governorates.

For his part, Dr. Ahmed Hosny, Director of Business Development Services (BDS) Hubs, highlighted that these Hubs have a key role in supporting entrepreneurs, startups, and SMEs, through offering an integrated non-financial and advisory services. These services include selecting the feasible ideas, assisting in establishing enterprises, providing guidance in the procedures of registration and obtaining licenses, as well as preparing economic feasibility studies and financial evaluations for the projects. Moreover, these Hubs provide clients with the required data to secure financing and prepare their credit files, besides helping them through matchmaking with suppliers, penetrating new markets, in addition to providing them with training and financial literacy.

Noteworthy, the CBE launched the “NilePreneurs” initiative, in collaboration with the banking sector, a number of universities, and local and international entities, which incorporates five main programs, including “Business Development Services Hubs” that provide entrepreneurs,  startups and SMEs, with their services through the Hubs established inside banks’ branches, youth centers, and universities in 24 governorates, or by applying in the initiative’s website

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