Country Portfolio Egypt
CFYE launched the first Call for Solutions in Egypt in 2020 to co-invest in innovative private sector-led initiatives to tackle youth unemployment. The Call aimed to attract partners from diverse sectors, prioritizing agriculture, retail trade, manufacturing, ICT, renewable energy, health services, hospitality services, and SME support/accelerators. After our successful first Call, we launched and concluded a second Call for Solutions in 2022 to cultivate more partnerships in Egypt. The below portfolio represents the winners of the two Call for Solutions. Our Country Lead for Egypt is Ola Farrag.
Egypt’s Job Market & Youth
Egypt has an extremely young population, with a median age of 24.6. In recent years, the unemployment rate for Egyptian youth aged 15- 24 has been hovering at around 30%. The economy is not growing fast enough to absorb the surge of new entrants to the labour market. Millions of youth with no other option resort to precarious, often dangerous work in the informal sector.
Some 29% of Egyptian youth are NEETs: Not in (formal) Employment, Education or Training. This illustrates the extent to which young Egyptians are not participating in the labour market nor building the necessary skills to join the labour market in the future. The economically vulnerable in Egyptian society are facing even more barriers and are usually forced to find work in the informal sector, in jobs that are often insecure and unsafe. During the youth sessions we conducted in Egypt, it became evident that youth want access to decent work: work that provides security and has proper health and safety provisions in place.
Focusing on youth unemployment is not enough; we also need to consider the trend of young people trapped in jobs that guarantee neither stability nor security.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) struggle to grow in Egypt because of a lack of access to capital. At the same time, university education doesn’t provide graduates with the necessary skills to make them employable. Moreover, the unemployment rate among young women is more than five times that of young men, at a high of 38.1% compared to 6.8%. Therefore, an urgent need arises to support initiatives that focus on upskilling the youth and are committed to creating employment with decent working conditions. Therefore, to make a meaningful impact in the labour market and reach as many young Egyptians as possible, we launched and concluded a second Call for Solutions for Egypt.
Our Portfolio in Egypt
Egyptian youth’s ambitions are diverse. At the same time, given the proper support and tool, the Egyptian business ecosystem can turn many challenges into opportunities. Juxtaposing the needs of the job market and youth, we have now built a portfolio that taps diverse sectors. We have partners bringing innovative ideas, among others, in the edtech, hospitality, medical, microfinance and manufacturing sectors. These partnerships plan to realize more than 31,000 decent jobs for Egyptian youth. More than 16,000 of these projected jobs will be newly created jobs. Others will be accomplished through the other CFYE routes: matching and improving.
As women are disproportionately affected by unemployment, over 16.000 of the jobs will be filled by young women.
Our portfolio in Egypt reflects a mix of self-employment, waged employment, and dependent self-employment opportunities. Every partner/consortium adopts a youth lens to not only create jobs but economic activities that center around youth potential and aspirations and integrate decent working conditions in the planned jobs.
The support of CFYE will help our project proceed more quickly, bring new groups of beneficiaries to benefit from the intervention and design a better project. Additionally, it is helping us with the financial resources to implement the solutions we have proposed. Which are to create 2530 decent jobs and improve 250 existing jobs.
The support of CFYE will help us with the number of jobs that will be created, matched and improved, with the scale of our impact, and with the targeting of rural areas. Also, it will help us with the development of new programs that will target mainly young women. Furthermore, the guidance of CFYE will help us reach a 50% of young women graduates and hiring’s.
The support of CFYE enables us to attain the needed mentorship to enhance our operations and update our technological solutions. Meaning we will be able to build a digital platform for over 500 clinics and train employees. It will also enable us to create over 2000 decent jobs for youth in Egypt.
With the help of CFYE we are able to focus on geographical expansion while simultaneously targeting first time entrepreneurs. The support is also allowing us to speed up the recruitment process, by setting up the loan agent training academy and enabling us to create decent employment for young Egyptians, especially for young women.
With the help of CFYE, we will be able to address gender inequalities in youth and women’s employment. The upfront capital required for RDNA’s solution to enhance youth employment makes CFYE’s funding indispensable. Without it, achieving socio-economic impact will be delayed, potentially altering the business strategy and hindering the growth of young small-scale producers associated with RDNA.
The support of CFYE enables us to create the Academy by JS with a tangible impact on the market and the unemployment of youth and women. We will be able to upscale, enhance skills, and impact 6000 youth who need decent and secure job. With CFYE support, we are able refine our impact and address issues with acquiring decent jobs, decent income, and gender inclusivity.
With the help of CFYE, we will be able to accelerate Accept and Zammits national expansion, by utilizing the fund to hire more employees in a shorter period of time. This will in its turn lead to acquiring merchants in a faster manner and allow us to help these merchants grow. Second, it will help us become more socially responsible and better engaged with our audience, maximizing the impact of the company’s contribution to the growing challenge of youth employment.