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The launch takes place a day before the organisation kicks off its sixth annual RiseUp Summit, which kicks off in the Egyptian capital on Friday (7 December) and runs until Wednesday next week (9 December).
RiseUp’s Startup Manifesto project head Aliaa Abdel Aziz told Ventureburn in an email last week that unfair government policies are among the key challenges that Egyptian entrepreneurs face.
She said the manifesto, which is over a year in the making, has been put together by RiseUp in collaboration with other support organisations and aims to help shape the country’s entrepreneurial policy.
RiseUp drove work on the Egypt Startup Manifesto upon realising that many of the issues faced by Egyptian entrepreneurs are at a policy level
“It aims to initiate a continuous dialogue between all relevant stakeholders while being the reference point for corresponding reform,” she added.
The manifesto also advocates for the country to be positioned as an entrepreneurship hub and calls for the fostering of an enabling legal and regulatory environment.
It also includes within it a framework for 11 programmes, each focusing on a specific area or challenge. These, said Aziz, include advocacy, human capital, financial services, mentorship and coaching, incubators, research and data, as well as linkages.
How it came about
Aziz explained that part of the process behind the production of the manifesto included a survey — which she said would be published on the Startup Manifesto website — in which RiseUp sampled 43 support organisations around the country.
When asked what the most significant challenge is facing startups in Egypt today, organisations did not list funding as the top concern. The lack of tech talent, followed by availability of internet access are the top two concerns. Funding comes in as only the third main concern.
The manifesto was put together through one-to-one interviews with key ecosystem players who included government representatives, financial institutions, support organisations and academia.
Overall, she said the manifesto was created through:
- 32 conversations with key support organisations
- Five review sessions with a total of 59 participants
- Two meetings with a total of 87 participants
- A retreat over three days with a total of 60 participants which also included an in-depth literature review.
Manifesto aims to create dialogue with the government
Aziz hopes that the manifesto will create the necessary dialogue between support organisations and the government to help the state to design new processes and programmes that will provide a boost to startups.
But she points out that much of this will come down to support organisations themselves taking ownership of the challenges that face the Egyptian startup ecosystem and in so doing, help drive programmes forward.
Featured image: Part of the community of ecosystem stakeholders involved in the creation of The Startup Manifesto at the Dome Marina Hotel and Resort in Suez, Egypt in May this year (Rise Up via Facebook)