Entrepreneurship Academy

The SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy, an initiative of the SANAD Technical Assistance Facility, encompasses a range of programs to support business owners throughout SANAD’s target region. By working together with local organisations that drive incubation and acceleration projects, the Entrepreneurship Academy provides entrepreneurs and their businesses with guidance, resources, mentoring, networking opportunities, the chance to receive financial backing, and other means necessary to turn good ideas into successful enterprises. In this way, the Entrepreneurship Academy and its partners help create an environment where entrepreneurs can thrive – ultimately supporting SANAD’s mission of promoting economic development and employment in the Middle East and North Africa.

Palestinian Territories: SPARK Entrepreneurship Bootcamp

As part of the program launched by the SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy together with local development organization SPARK, 20 student entrepreneurs in the Palestinian Territories participated in an intensive three-day “business bootcamp” to help them pitch their startup ideas to a panel of judges from industry and finance. The panel included representatives from three SANAD partner institutions: TNB Bank, Palestine for Development Foundation (PSDF), and Vitas Palestine.

The five winners, all women, have benefited from six months of intensive business training with experts in the field. The SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy financed the bootcamp, which represents the “Economic Empowerment” component of SPARK’s Dynamic Futures scholarship program. The project aims to foster links between the youth and financial sector and raise awareness of the importance and challenges of entrepreneurship for economic development.

Lebanon: Agrytech Acceleration

Agrytech, a program of the Lebanese Venture Capital Fund Berytech, is accelerating Lebanese startups in the agri-food industry with financial and business advice and skills.

After the first bootcamp phase, 14 of the 27 teams were selected for the second acceleration round. After that, the top nine teams were chosen to continue to the third and final phase of the accelerator: a six-month incubation program that included up to USD 22,000 in grants.

Under SANAD’s Entrepreneurship Academy, the young entrepreneurs received top-notch business advisory and mentoring to fine-tune their minimum viable product and absorb new expertise and technology. The program monitors the startups’ progress, and through one-on-one scale up sessions, is working to enhance their capacities for fundraising, operations, and client and investor relationships to gain traction and grow. For more information, please visit Agrytech’s website.

Tunisia: Microenterprise Training

Between March and December 2018, training sessions were offered exclusively to more than 260 clients, almost 50% women, of Advans Tunisie – a microfinance institution and equity investment of the SANAD Fund for MSME.

The trainings improved the participants’ credit worthiness and ability to use Advans Tunisie’s micro and very small enterprise loan products for their business development. The sessions also enabled them to meet other entrepreneurs and exchange ideas amongst each other, providing an environment to discuss the challenges faced by microenterprises in the region and how to best tackle them.  

Following a successful pilot, the program is now being rolled out across the country with a focus on rural areas. Check out the program flyer here.

Egypt: BDS Hubs Nilepreneurs

The Entrepreneurship Academy is supporting the roll-out of “Nilepreneurs,” a joint venture between the Central Bank of Egypt and Nile University, to establish a nation-wide presence and low-barrier infrastructure to foster the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Egypt. One of the main measures involves setting up Business Development Service (BDS) Hubs inside bank branches. Under SANAD’s Entrepreneurship Academy, the Egyptian Banking Institute and the Egyptian Financial Services Institute have developed specialized training modules that will enable selected bank employees to provide these non-financial advisory services to existing and potential clients of the banks in their new BDS Hubs. In early 2019, over 70 employees of 12 Egyptian banks participated in a successful pilot program, which is being rolled out throughout 2019. Check out the program flyer here.

 

Egypt: Acceleration Programs for Social Entrepreneurs

The SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy and the Hult Prize teamed up to design and implement Changelabs to provide social entrepreneurs with access to knowledge, tools, and seed funding. The first cohort of ten selected social entrepreneurs is currently receiving technical training and mentorship from experienced business development experts. BLOM Bank and FMO are providing USD 75,000 in seed funding through prizes for the top startups. The acceleration program ignites social innovation and entrepreneurship among students with the potential to deliver meaningful change while generating sustainable profits. View the program launch video here.

Jordan: Finance and Investment Advisory Services to SMEs

The  Jordanian Action for the Development of Enterprise (JADE) program is part of a broader E.U. private sector development effort in Jordan. Its objective is to support Jordanian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by organizing the provision of technical assistance to increase their capacity and productivity – and thus their success rates. The project makes business development services available through an innovative online platform to promote systemic change in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. SANAD’s Entrepreneurship Academy has contributed financial and investment advisory for over 50 SMEs, ranging from financial planning and reporting to modeling and valuations. The Academy has also facilitated connections to investor and financial institutions in the local market. Participating SMEs have attended a number of expositions to showcase their products and meet with potential suppliers with a view to expanding into exports.

Egypt: Cairo Fintech Accelerator

The fintech industry in Egypt is a burgeoning field of opportunity to support financial inclusion and bank the unbanked. Alongside project partners Pride Capital and Startupbootcamp Cairo, who selected 20 local startups to join the first Fintech Cairo after screening more than 75 applications, the SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy is now supporting 11 finalists through a six-month, full-time acceleration cycle. The accelerator delivers tailored business development and capacity building through various activities, ranging from mentoring to growth workshops, partner engagement, networking events, and peer support. The project prepared these fintechs for their pitches at Fintech Cairo’s first Demo Day in May 2019 and is continuing to help them execute their growth plans and gain traction through weekly customer acquisition and revenue generating cycles. Check out the Demo Day booklet here.