CEDARE in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and MedWaves (the UNEP/MAP Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production) held the launching event of the National Initiative for Sustainable Entrepreneurs (NISE) on 11 October 2022 in Cairo, in presence of Ms. Sylvie Fontain, representative of the Delegation of the European Union to Egypt, Mr. Giorgio Mosangini, representing MedWaves, Dr. Heba Sharawy, representing the Ministry of Environment and Dr. Hossam Allam, representing CEDARE.
40 diverse stakeholders pertinent to the domain of entrepreneurship and sustainable economy attended the launch ranging from governmental and non-governmental organizations, international entities, financial institutions & banks, business incubators, academia, universities’ innovation centres to entrepreneurs.
The NISE is implemented within the framework of Egypt’s SwitchMed Down the Nile Project to support Sustainable Economy & Green & Blue Entrepreneurship and comes in-line with Egypt’s extensive efforts in reinforcing medium, small, and micro enterprises and Egypt Vision 2030. It aims at supporting circular economy, reinforcing green entrepreneurship and including blue economy principles in the eco-system. It involves the capacity building of the BSOs to align with the fast-growing sustainable economy mandates and cater for the increasing demands of business today; consequently, ensuring sustainable job opportunities. The initiative will give BSOs empowering technical training as well as provoking business linkages. Furthermore, they will mainly benefit from an excellent training program to qualify to share the acquired know-how with a wider base of entrepreneurs nationwide, eventually 140 entrepreneurs across greater Cairo and upper Egypt, will be trained, of which the best 16 are to benefit from the incubation stage, which will last for eight months. Those will ultimately be entitled to lead the way to a steadily competent sustainable entrepreneurship scene in Egypt.
“We are happy to announce the launching of the National Initiative for Sustainable Entrepreneurs (NISE) in the framework of the SwitchMed initiative, funded by the European Union. NISE gathers multiple stakeholders (Business Support Organizations, Financial Institutions, Policy Makers, etc.) for the common goal of promoting the creation of sustainable and circular businesses which meet Egyptian main environmental challenges”, said Mr. Giorgio Mosangini, Team Leader of Green Entrepreneurship & Civil Society, MedWaves.
In his welcoming note, Dr. Hossam Allam, CEDARE’s Sustainable Growth Regional Director, stated “We are proud to launch the NISE in this particular timing where the Egyptian government, specially President Abdel Fattah ElSisi, are paying much attention to fostering sustainable entrepreneurship and showing substantial progress in that. Now, resource rationalization, recycling and other features of circular economy have become inevitable, they are not an option anymore if we want to live peacefully on this planet. Finally, I look forward to meeting you all again next year to celebrate the success of this initiative which can embrace and engage all the stakeholders in Egypt and hope to achieve the sought integration and synchronization with all partners”.
Ms. Sylvie Fontain, Project Officer for Environment and Climate Change, Delegation of the European Union to Egypt, added “We strongly believe that green enterprises can play a key role towards a sustainable society. Starting a new business is not easy. Dynamism and good ideas are needed, but are not sufficient. Support is needed to help the potential green economy to mature their ideas, to realize the creation of their business, to meet consumers’ needs. NISE helps them in this process”. She added “I am absolutely happy to see the initiative embarking in this particular timing as Egypt hosting the COP27 on climate change shows the importance given by your entities to this issue”.
In her speech, Dr. Heba Sharawy, Head of Loans & Grants Follow up Unit, MAP Coordinator/ WAVES Focal Point, SCP/RAC & Switchmed Focal Point, Ministry of Environment, said “The Initiative’s main goal is to foster the transition to green economy and sustainable management of marine resources and job creation and support the inclusion of the environmental perspective and sustainability in small and micro enterprises in Egypt”.
The project is executed by CEDARE in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Medwaves and supported by SwitchMed; a programme funded by the EU. With nearly 30 years of experience in green economy, CEDARE is co-partnering with Medwaves; a distinct player in green entrepreneurship with a track record exceeding 30 years. Both are joining forces with the Ministry of Environment in instigating this endeavor in Egypt, as the programme is regionally implemented in 7 other countries.