Egyptian entrepreneurs are set to benefit from the launch of the first Corporate Mentoring and Entrepreneurship Programme announced by building materials company, Lafarge.
Lafarge will collaborate with award-winning international mentoring organisation, the Mowgli Foundation (Mowgli) in Egypt to deliver three mentor training programs for 45 Lafarge executives matching them with 45 entrepreneurs for 12 months.
Providing the entrepreneurs as part of a separate landmark partnership with Lafarge is the Social Fund for Development (SFD), Egypt’s major socio-economic safety net entrusted with supporting micro and small enterprises and providing them with integrated packages of financial and non-financial services.
“We are delighted to be able to inspire, connect and evolve Egyptian entrepreneurs with Mowgli. There is a wealth of talent at hand in Egypt, and our executives are keen to help empower the transformation of future business leaders in the country. We see the value of Mowgli’s unique mentoring program and we look forward to the experience,” said Erdogan Pekenc, Lafarge Egypt CEO.
The pilot partnership will aim to provide interactive, experiential and transformational workshops, a unique environment for accelerated relationship building, mentor training and matching, and engagement within a learning and mentoring focused global alumni network of more than 1200 entrepreneurs and mentors.
The two agreements were signed by Lafarge Egypt CEO, Erdogan Pekenc, SFD Managing Director, Ghada Waly and founder of Mowgli, Tony Bury on 23rd January 2014.
“This agreement consolidates on-going cooperation between SFD and development partners and comes in harmony with the SFD strategy for providing finance and all related business development services to start-up and/or existing entrepreneurs including without limitation, technical, administrative support, capacity building and training to enable them to acquire new labour-market and advanced entrepreneurial skills,” Waly said.
“Within this framework, SFD has been launching an ambitious entrepreneurship development program especially tailored for the youth in partnership with public/private Egyptian universities and various academic institutions and is currently diversifying its non-financial products to help create a generation of promising entrepreneurs,” she added.
“Supporting entrepreneurship and leadership development with mentoring is at the heart of Mowgli’s vision, and so this program truly serves both of these objectives. We are thrilled to be launching our new innovative “Corporate Mentoring and Entrepreneurship program” in partnership with Lafarge in Egypt, and to further serve the Egyptian entrepreneurship ecosystem,” said Bury.
According to Mowgli, between 2009 and 2012 more than 840 jobs were created and safeguarded by Mowgli Entrepreneurs, during their first year of mentoring, with an average of two jobs created per Mowgli Entrepreneur across the MENA region.
“Mowgli and Lafarge are well aware of the unemployment challenge within the MENA region, with 25% of the population below the age of 25 and 27% of 15-24 year olds unemployed according to recent statistics. The need for sustainable job and economic creation is growing, and with the rapid population growth and a bloated public sector, the Mowgli mentoring program can help unlock the economic potential of Egypt’s entrepreneurs,” concluded Pekenc.
Lafarge Egypt is proud to be involved in programs to improve education and increase job creation across the country. In 2012, a literacy program was created for the women of Ezbet and Arab El Wahda in tandem with a sewing centre, which provided employment opportunities for the same women.