GIZ Egypt has partnered the Egyptian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA), Endure Capital and Changelabs to launch a EUR100 million (US$120 million) funding programme for first-time venture capital (VC) funds.
The year-long “VC University” programme offers new fund managers access to between EUR25 million (US$30 million) and EUR30 million (US$36 million) and prospective LPs from across the world, as well as technical assistance and mentorship.
Ali Saleh, head of young enterprise finance at GIZ Egypt, said lack of access to early-stage finance was one of the key challenges facing startups in Egypt as well as in the wider MENA region, and that the VC University programme aimed to increase cash flow into the risk capital ecosystem and encourage investments in early-stage Egyptian startups.
“Besides cash, the programme is designed to educate early-stage fund managers on how they can raise capital or deal with challenges that might surface up down the road,” he said.
“There’s a lot of programmes out there that are aimed at startups, yet the VC funds are left behind. We have seen that there’s a gap there that needs to be filled.”
The VC University programme is targeting both Egypt-based funds and those located elsewhere across the MENA region, as long as they have a clear mandate to invest in Egyptian startups, and is looking to onboard three or four fund managers.