Egypt: Arabian Cement launches social start-up programme

Egypt: Arabian Cement launches social start-up programme
Published: 18 June 2015

Arabian Cement Company (ACC) announced  the launch of its social start-up programme, “Khaleeha Suessi”, helped by Nahdet El Mahrousa (NM), an incubator of early-stage social enterprises in the MENA region. The programme aims at promoting positive social impact and employment opportunities by providing entrepreneurs with the tools needed to successfully establish their own social startups. The launch press conference was attended by Jose Maria Magrina, ACC Chief Executive Officer, and Loay El-Shawarby, Chairperson of Nahdet El Mahrousa.

The first phase of the programme is from 24 May - 4 July 2015, where applicants are to submit their initial proposals. This phase also includes hosting one information session in Cairo and two sessions in Suez to raise awareness about the initiative and provide more information about it. Once the applications have been considered by the panel of experts, 15-30 shortlisted applicants will be announced on 12 July. The following phases of the programme include offering support to the selected applicants to enable them to develop a final proposal about their enterprises, with the final 5-7 enterprises being chosen on 10 October for the incubation phase; receiving the seed funding.

 “Impactful social programmes have been, and will continue to be, one of the main pillars of our strategy for the Egyptian market," said Jose Maria Magrina, ACC CEO. "Today, I’m honoured to launch this programme for Suez, the governorate where our business is based. At ACC, we’re keen to give back to the community where we operate, and we can’t think of a better way to do so than by supporting the youth of Suez to realise their dreams and establish successful enterprises. This programme is a unique one, in terms of concept and implementation. As such, I believe that we’ve been able to take our contribution to supporting the society to the next level."

 To qualify for the year-long programme, enterprises must offer an innovative business idea that has the potential to become scalable and sustainable, and have social impact in Suez. The programme will build the entrepreneurs’ technical skills in fields such as management; business and strategic planning; marketing; and public relations, and provide direct access to experts for legal and financial consultation.

“At Nahdet El Mahrousa, we empower young and innovative Egyptian social entrepreneurs. We support them to develop their ideas into businesses that target a specific social problem. In the long-run, we hope to see the number and size of these enterprises to grow and become the foundation on which we build a new Egypt,” said Loay El-Shawarby, Chairperson of Nahdet El Mahrousa. “We have worked across a range of governorates, but are excited to be implementing a project in Suez for the first time.”

The number of startups in Egypt is on the rise, and entrepreneurship is playing an increasingly important role in employing youth and tackling pressing social problems. The objective of the ACC-NM programme, “Khaleeha Suessi", is to extend the local growth of entrepreneurship to Suez, encouraging young professionals to transform their communities from within. ACC and NM moreover hope the programme will encourage similar partnerships in the field of social entrepreneurship in governorates across Egypt.