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Cairo-based GESR secures grant from Credit Agricole to support tech-enabled social startups

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Egyptian nonprofit organization Misr El-Kheir’s GESR incubator has secured a grant from Credit Agricole Egypt, the Egyptian branch of France-headquartered cooperative financial institution which happens to be the largest of its kind in the world, to support tech-enabled social startups in the country. The grant has come from Credit Agricole Egypt’s Foundation for Development that was established in 2017 with the aim to work on different projects in the areas of education, health, and entrepreneurship.

GESR’s tech incubation program supports social startups solving challenges in water, health, education, energy, and food. The technology incubator apart from helping startups who have already built a prototype also incubates idea-stage innovators and entrepreneurs to help them turn their ideas into products with a market value.

The program supports selected startups and entrepreneurs by offering them seed funding, mentorship, technical and legal support, graduating them with a registered social enterprise, an MVP and a business plan. Since its launch, the incubator has supported over 20 startups with 4 currently being incubated in the fourth cycle of the program.

The partnership with Credit Agricole will also provide GESR’s startups with access to its large network of individual and business connection all across the country and beyond.

The four startups that made it to GESR’s fourth cycle include:

SNP Vermi produces a high-quality organic fertilizer that is rich in micro and macro elements, natural vitamins, and enzymes using vermicomposting technique. The product helps agricultural land plots to recover their soil microorganisms and increase the productivity and quality of their crops.

CUP collects spent coffee grounds or SCG (waste product from brewing coffee), adds value to it and uses it for mushroom cultivation. The startup aims to fill the current market gap using this technique.

Kiwa is an organic food production business that uses IAVS (Integrated Aqua and Vege culture System) technology to produce organic food with more affordable prices. IAVS technology works on saving water and electricity needed in the cultivation process which reduces production costs significantly.

Ecomax offers a solution that converts sewage waste (sludge) in rural areas to bio-energy and organic fertilizer. The solution is customized for every client its sold to on the basis of their needs.

Dr. Abeer Shakweer, Advisor of Innovation and Scientific Research at Misr Elkheir Foundation said that the partnership with an international institution like Credit Agricole Egypt Foundation for Development will open many new avenues for GESR and its startups.

Assem Ragab, Chairman of Credit Agricole Egypt Foundation for Development, said, “Credit Agricole Egypt Foundation for Development’s philosophy targets the youth in all of its initiatives as this philosophy comes from bank’s vision that Egypt’s future is its youth, who represent 60% of Egypt’s population and its hope for a better future.”

“What distinguishes GESR is its focus to establish startups with a social dimension, which positively impact the economy and at the same time are able to generate profits to sustain their businesses,” he added.

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