Entrepreneurship in Egypt to be financed LE10mn (US$600,000) by African Development Bank
The Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation (MIIC) in Egypt on Sunday, 28. July 2019 signed a LE10mn (US$600,000) grant with African Development Bank (ADB) to develop the environmental system for entrepreneurship. Those present at the signing included: Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Dr. Sahar Nasr, Director of the African Development Bank in Egypt, Ms. Malin Blumberg and President of Egypt Investment in Entrepreneurship, Dr. Shehab Marzban.
As part of the ministry’s Fekretk Sherketk initiative that supports Egyptian youth and entrepreneurs, the project aims to enhance and improve the environmental management system in Egypt. The project plans to do this by expanding access to services and information and provide specific entrepreneurship business development. The project also aims to create a digital platform and capacity build in relation to training courses, study tours and workshops to raise awareness.
Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr, has stated that one of the most important reforms undertaken by the ministry is supporting emerging companies. “Supporting startups is a priority for us. All the international statistics assert that the small and medium enterprises offer many job opportunities for youth and women.”
Director of African Development Bank, Malin Bloomberg, has praised Egypt’s efforts in supporting entrepreneurs and women which the bank itself is keen to support with the launch of their initiative back in 2016 to support entrepreneurs throughout the region as well as providing grants to support innovation and emerging companies.
Egypt has begun to advance its position in the Global Innovation Index (GII), Malin Bloomberg, has stated this is due to the recent legislation reforms noting that Fekretk Sherketk is a good hub for offering services to entrepreneurs.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.