Cairo perfect test bed for innovation, attractive market for business scalability: Report

27 June 2020

Cairo ranked among the best regions for startups in 2020, according to the 2020 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER).

The report was issued on Thursday by Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Netwat at the Ecosystems Couch Conference.

Egypt is among the 10 global ecosystems for affordable talent in 2020 and among the top 10 African and Middle Eastern ecosystems in funding, the report stated.

It said Egypt has created $1.2 billion in ecosystem value over the last 2.5 years.

According to the GSER 2020 report, Cairo provides a perfect test bed for innovation and an attractive market for scalability, like the expansions of Amazon’s Souq and Uber’s Careem thanks to the large customer market of 20 million young, tech-savvy consumers.

“Egypt enjoys a strong and successful startup ecosystem. The country has seen a surge in technology innovation support programmes and synergetic movements by the public and private entities that triggered an entrepreneurship boom and led startups business to thrive,” CEO of International Technology Industry Development Authority ITIDA Hala El-Gohary said.

With the availability of qualified talent and 500K annual graduates, Egypt has earned its position as one of the top 10 Global Ecosystems in terms of the affordable talent, she added.

Startup Genome has benchmarked Cairo's performance against more than 250 startups ecosystems globally in the report.

With an expanding footprint, the 2020 GSER provides insights and guidance to public and private leaders about how to foster thriving startup ecosystems, particularly forwarding the conversation on how governments can support and leverage tech ecosystems to restart stalling economies recovering from the COVID-19 lockdowns.

“This is the time for policymakers, community leaders, and foundations to double down on their support of local startups, the first engine of job creation and economic growth,” said JF Gauthier, founder & CEO of Startup Genome.

“The Global Startup Ecosystem Report is the foundation of global knowledge where we, as a network, come together to identify what policies actually produce economic impact and in what context,” he added.

Cairo attracted the largest number of investment deals in MENA, with Fintech at the top, according to the report.

The report highlighted that the opportunity is immense in Egypt with 95 million mobile users (highest penetration in MENA), 14 million wallets, a young population, and financial inclusion government-led initiatives.

The GSER is the world’s most comprehensive and widely-read research on startups with 250 ecosystems studied, a ranking of the top 30 and 10 runner-up global ecosystems, and a top 100 ranking of emerging ecosystems.

The report was released at a critical time when four out of every 10 startups globally have three months or fewer of cash runway in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, read the report.


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