As mandated by the SRI Project, E-Khorda; the entrepreneurship support and incubation programme was recently launched to provide technical assistance to start-ups in the e-waste recycling field and to help build operational e-waste companies by end of 2017. E-Khorda’s implementing partners are CEDARE, Chemonics Egypt Consultants, Cleantech Arabia, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Innoventures, and Sofies Consulting. The incubation programme, which was preceded by 3 separate info sessions targeting interested applicants, consists of a two-month detailed capacity building and training including a condensed 10-day training which started on March 10, 2017.
The ultimate goal is to provide 13 start-ups with the needed training on business and technical topics such as business modeling, cash flow analysis and technology assessment, 60 hours of individual technical consultancy sessions, in addition to a total of 5 business sessions on finance, in addition to marketing and pitching. The trainees are to be exposed to other similar case studies in Egypt and internationally. The 13 start-ups were selected from a total of 43 received applications and were carefully evaluated according to business feasibility, technology and process innovation, social impact, and level of effort put in the application among other criteria.
The top 3 performing startups will be identified through a panel of experts and will continue to receive full acceleration benefits of Startup Reactor Accelerator by Innoventures including office space, trainings, mentorship, HR, marketing benefits, legal registration and investment opportunities for an additional 6 months. They will also have a chance to pitch in the Global Entrepreneurship Week in November.
“The SRI project, currently implemented by the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) in cooperation with CEDARE, the State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) in Switzerland and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Sciences and Technology (EMPA), is providing know-how on non-hazardous management of secondary non-renewable material and establishes a formal and efficient WEEE recycling system. With the aid of the new business models, entrepreneurs and start-ups will become a major key to economic growth, job creation and competitiveness and develop new, localized technologies”, stated Dr. Hossam Allam, Regional Programme Manager, CEDARE.
It is worth knowing that elements such as lead, chromium, cadmium, mercury, zinc, nickel, lithium, barium & beryllium found in televisions/CRTs, batteries, mobile phones, computers, among others turn into fatal material if not disposed properly. Hazardous practices of informal structures dominate the e-waste sector resulting in polluted air, soil, water or food, which are sheer killers either by inhalation, ingestion, dermal contact or even trans-placental.
“From an economic perspective, resourceful optimization of non-renewable resources is inevitable. Sustainable e-waste recycling is needed to avoid waste of resources. Egypt is a high potential market indeed; according to a study conducted by Best of 2 Worlds Project, it is predicted that 9 tons of gold can be extracted from e-waste from the year 2017 to 2020. Other findings also revealed that 1.8 tons of gold and 17.96 tons of silver can be extracted from EOL mobile phones in 2020 besides rare elements such as palladium. An estimate of cumulative potential gold and silver in EOL desktop and notebook computers is approximately 3.73 & 22.71 tons respectively in 2025”, stated Dr. Fathya Soliman, Senior Consultant, CEDARE.