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 merely represents the winners of the first Call of 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.

Planned Impact

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 education, hospitality, and manufacturing sectors. These partnerships plan to realize more than 12.000 decent jobs for Egyptian youth. More than 6.300 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 6.300 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.

CFYE’s support will help us scale our model. We’ll be able to achieve 2500 jobs instead of 1000, encourage other investors to invest in Sprints’ social impact model, and kick off multiple new matching programs that target top-paying tech jobs in Mobile, Data Science, and Telecom Engineering.

R2S Logistics is an Egyptian company providing leading fulfillment and transportation solutions to e-commerce and traditional businesses. CYFE’s support will allow us to hire and train more young Egyptians to enter the industry of clothing manufacturing and machine operations.

CFYE’s financial and technical support will be critical for “RDNA Works” to achieve decent and better employment for youth and women. As gender is critical to our goal, technical support for our GESI strategy will help us take a holistic approach to the gender inequality barriers in employment.

CFYE’s support will enable us to create the Academy by JS with a tangible impact (over 6000 people) on the market and the unemployment of youth and women. The funding will especially help us focus on achieving decent work and address the challenges that women face in specific.

Contrato seeks to provide decent self-employment opportunities for young lawyers through establishing an innovative online platform for contractual legal services and consultancies. CFYE’s contribution is integral to the quality, scale, and specific target group focus of the project.