IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has launched a fintech-focused support programme to help Egyptian startups develop and extend crucial financial services.
Through the initiative, IFC is partnering with two programmes – the Startupbootcamp Pride FinTech Cairo programme run by corporate-backed accelerator Startupbootcamp and Egyptian VC firm Pride Capital, and the fintech accelerator AUC Venture Lab.
It will help the two fintech-focused accelerators improve their offering to startups in areas like mentorship, business development and technical training, to help them attract funding from investors.
IFC said fintech has the potential to reshape the banking industry and is growing rapidly in Egypt, where only 32 per cent of those aged 21-plus have a bank account. By supporting innovative fintech startups, the programme aspires to support IFC’s efforts in expanding financial inclusion across the country.
Walid Labadi, IFC country manager for Egypt, Libya and Yemen, said with the right support entrepreneurs can create much-needed jobs and develop technology that makes life better for people.
“This programme will help unlock the potential of young entrepreneurs and lay the foundation for an ecosystem that supports innovation in the financial services industry,” he said.
Rami El Dokany, chief executive officer (CEO) of Pride Capital, said the partnership would assist the Startupbootcamp Pride FinTech Cairo programme in 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,” he said.
Over the past three years, AUC Venture Lab has accelerated 23 early-stage startups through its fintech accelerator programme. Dr. Sherif Kamel, dean of the AUC School of Business, said the partnership would help it extend its support to more innovative startups and maximise its impact on the Egyptian economy towards broader financial inclusion.