Egypt's economic crisis in focus at RiseUp's 10th summit
For the past decade, RiseUp has been one of the most influential startup events in Egypt and the wider Middle East and North Africa region. The annual event plays a proactive role in orienting youth towards entrepreneurship, connecting startups to prospective investors, mentorship and other resources to help them see their companies through.
Against the backdrop of today’s turbulent macroeconomic outlook, this year’s summit, held under the banner of “Stay Real”, emphasised caution, with the majority of talks highlighting the various challenges faced by startups in Egypt and the rest of Africa amid an increasingly tight fundraising landscape and a high-inflation environment.
The Egyptian dilemma
As of late, the Egyptian startup ecosystem has been reeling under the economic fallout of the devaluation of the local currency, which, coupled with the ongoing import restrictions and a shortage of foreign currency has made it difficult for startups to operate effectively. As a result, a lot of startups have recently relocated to other countries where there is a more stable financial environment so as to attract venture capital investment.
"The past two years have made it really hard for founders to expect what lies ahead. There is a lot of ambiguity in terms of the economic situation and if we are able to bring clarity to founders that will help increase the inflow of funding into the country. For now, Egypt is the best place to start their business; because if you make mistakes, it won't cost you that much," said Hadeer Shalaby, managing director of talabat Egypt during a panel discussion named "Unleashing the potential of startups in Egypt: bridging the gap between government efforts and startup policy needs".