GIZ Egypt has unveiled a USD120 million funding program called “VC University,” in collaboration with the Egyptian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA), Endure Finance, and Changelabs.
The year-long program will provide mentorship and access to a variety of LPs from around the world to aspiring fund managers.
MSMEDA will assist selected fund managers with technical assistance.
“In addition to funds, the program aims to educate early-stage fund managers on how to raise capital and deal with problems that might arise down the road,” said Ali Saleh, GIZ Egypt’s head of young enterprise finance.
Lack of access to early-stage funding is still a major issue for Egyptian startups, as well as those in the broader Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
According to Saleh, the initiative aims to increase cash injection into Egyptian startups, especially those in their early stages, by raising cash flow into the risk capital ecosystem.
Early-stage venture capital funds, like early-stage startups, face difficulties in raising capital and are considered to be underserved. The newly launched initiative aims to close the gap in this region.
“There are a lot of programs targeted at startups out there, but VC funds are left behind.” We’ve noticed that there’s a void that needs to be filled,” Saleh explained.
The VC University program is open to funds based in Egypt as well as those based elsewhere in Mena who have a strong mandate to invest in Egyptian startups. It plans or hire three to four fund managers, each of whom will be paid €25-30 million.