To become more competitive in global markets, Egyptian information and communications technology (ICT) businesses need access to capital markets domestic, regional, and international. Accessing those markets, however, requires skill and experience.

Even now, as ICT is growing as a share of the Egyptian economy, ICT entrepreneurs lack venture capital and Egyptian banks are reluctant to lend to them. The sector is not meeting growth and employment goals despite Egypt’s many potential competitive advantages.

Through this project, Nathan is facilitating partnerships between Egyptian institutions and U.S. institutions that provide training in advanced finance, entrepreneurial management, and ICT management so Egypt’s entrepreneurs can grasp and apply the fundamentals of business financing. We are also helping to develop an indigenous financial intermediation facility.

In November and December 2005, the project assessed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing the Egyptian ICT entrepreneurial sector. Firms not only face a severe deficiency of capital but must also overcome a lack of awareness of their potential in U.S. and other developed markets, particularly if they are seeking foreign investment or capital.

So far, the project has started a training of trainers program and developed business plans for U.S.-based market development centers. It has also started training financial analysts and establishing a free-standing private corporation the ICT Business Development Center in Cairo.

The purpose of the training of trainers (TOT) program is to build the capacity of Egypt’s training institutes to provide high-quality graduate and executive level instruction in entrepreneurship.

In July 2006, the first training session covered advanced instructions methods that will strengthen courses offered to ICT businesses; similar training in August 2006 strengthened local course offerings in the subject of financing. Another four sessions will be offered, beginning in November 2006.

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