Thirty-five organizations will be awarded $800,000 by the Egypt Development Marketplace (DM) funded by The World Bank Group (WBG) and its local and international partners. Each of the grantees will receive $25,000 to scale up their business model that would generate employment in the agriculture and handicraft sectors. Winning organizations will beshowcased at a DM sponsored event. A number of financial institutions, social entrepreneurs, investors, development organizations, and government officials will also participate in the event to bring attention to organizations implementing innovative solutions to unemployment in the country.
Overwhelming response to “Call for Proposal”
The call for proposals was launched in November and closed in January. At closing, 180 proposals from 171 organizations were submitted for funding. Preference was given to projects implemented in Upper Egypt and the majority of proposals were for projects in Minya. Applicants comprised the following types of organizations: 89 percent were Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), 7 percent were private companies and 4 percent were foundations.
From its conception, the Egypt DM has been designed to surface and build the skills of organizations creating jobs in the country, primarily in the poorest areas with an emphasis on Upper Egypt. To generate interest in the competition and to ensure organizations operating in targeted areas applied, outreach events were held in Assyut, Qena, Aswan, and Minya. As a follow up, skill-building workshops in business planning were held for each of the 70 finalists to ensure high quality proposals were submitted.
Building Block for Sustained Employment
In addition to grants the DM provides the opportunity to understand what works – how and under what conditions – in an effort to surface and invest in models that are best positioned to create jobs in the agriculture and handicrafts sector. The World Bank Group plans to also work closely with the government on creating a conducive environment for social enterprise and inclusive business models.
Financial Support for the Grantees
The Egypt DM is a collaborative effort supported by several partners. While it is being managed and coordinated by the World Bank Group, including the World Bank, the World Bank Institute and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), several partners are contributing financially including: the Australian Government (AusAID), Department for International Development (DFID) for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the International Labor Organization (ILO), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Sawiris Foundation for Sustainable Development and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) through the IFC.
The grantees will benefit from strategic guidance and technical support from several local and international partners including: the African Development Bank, AlKorra Foundation for Sustainable Development, Ashoka, CARE Egypt, CISCO, Center for Development Services, Delta Aromatic Company, Etijah, Fair Trade Egypt, Financial Services Volunteer Corps (FSVC), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Egyptian Network for Integrated Development (ENID), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the International Labour Organization (ILO), Innoventures Company, Markaz for handicrafts, MercyCorps Egypt, Microsoft, the Misr El Kheir Foundation, Nahdet El Mahrousa NGO, PriceWaterHouseCoopers, the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development, Sobh for Food Industries and Coldstore, the Social Contract Center (SCC), the Social Fund for Development, the Pro-poor Horticulture Value Chains in Upper Egypt (SALASEL), Synergos, USAID and Willow Impact Investors.