The ClimAccelerator programme intended to promote environmentally friendly startups will be held for the first time in Egypt to help develop green entrepreneurial business models in a shorter period, it was announced this week.
The three-month programme is organised by EIT Climate-KIC, a European knowledge and innovation community cofounded by the European Union, in collaboration with Youthink Green, a social enterprise that aims at fostering sustainable development among diverse communities, and the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB).
ClimAccelerator Egypt will include training, mentoring, knowledge-sharing, and market-investor linkages designed to build viable business plans, boost climate impacts, and help secure grants to implement green entrepreneurial projects, Ola El-Houfy, project lead at Youthink Green Egypt, said.
She added that the programme aims at turning clean tech start-ups into successful businesses and harnessing the power of human ingenuity to drive rapid impacts and unlock a net-zero and resilient future for all.
The call for applications to the programme started last week, and it will continue to receive applications via its website until 11 February, El-Houfy said. She added that the programme was looking for talented entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses into successful solutions paving the way to a cleaner and more sustainable world.
The applicants should meet certain requirements, including their main operations being in clean technology like solar and wind energy, biomass, and eco-friendly products. The requirements also include being innovative and having been in operation for a minimum of two years.
El-Houfy said that the selected participants will have the opportunity to be part of weekly training bootcamps that will provide them with the latest tools to use in their core businesses through sessions that will be given by experts from all over the world sharing insights, learning, and experience in running successful clean tech businesses.
They will be supported to work on their investment strategies through providing them with the latest tools to help acquire funding proposals and have the needed exposure to real investors, as well as learning how to properly pitch their businesses to attract investment.
Christian Berger, head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt, said that the EU was supporting green startups and companies trying to find new environmentally friendly ways of doing business.
“The EU has been engaging with green businesses for a long time, as the continent wants to be a carbon neutral one and help prevent the climate from deteriorating further,” Berger said.
Clean technology is the solution to many environmental problems, and supporting sustainability efforts in Egypt has become a must for a stronger impact in the community, said Ines Kadri, head of communications and sustainability at ADCB.
“Innovative solutions are needed to solve many issues, especially in food and agriculture, as the world is going through tough times in terms of food security,” she noted.
According to the programme, entrepreneurs from across Egypt can apply, with businesses in the clean tech industry in sectors including agriculture, the environment, clean energy, efficiency, energy storage, transportation, water, construction and building all being accepted.
ClimAccelerator programmes have been taking place in many countries across the world for the last 10 years, enabling hundreds of thousands of transformational startups to be accelerated through radical collaboration and the sharing of resources.
According to the programme website, more than two billion euros in capital have been raised in external investment by the startups, with 40 programmes delivered worldwide since 2020 and about 15,000 jobs created.
* A version of this article appears in print in the 2 February, 2023 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly