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Hivos Is Giving Over $20,000 To Co-Working Spaces Boosting Employment In Egypt

Shedding light on the power of collaboration, Dutch-based Hivos teamed up with two Egyptian incubators Nahdet El Mahrousa and V-Labs, to bring an 18-month programme for co-working spaces.

Driven by the will to develop the full potential of youth in the Arab world, the newly launched “Co-working for Sustainable Employment” programme sets off to boost the growth of co-working spaces that work with startups in Egypt. Crafted through a partnership between Egyptian incubators Nahdet El Mahrousa - the first incubator for early stage social enterprises - the AUC's Venture Lab and Hivos, a Dutch-based organisation dedicated to support knowledge-sharing in the fields of development, the initiative is rolling out an 18-month programme with the goal of creating more job opportunities for youth.

Aiming to rise employment levels, especially amongst young women in medium-sized towns, the most promising co-working spaces will be selected to grow into successful and sustainable hubs. Winning hubs will typically be teams of knowledgeable, experienced, and passionate individuals, entailing the capability of impacting employment opportunities, and the viability of the space required to gain financial independence. Runners-up will win up to 400,000 LE (over $22,000) based on the needs of the co-working space, and those located outside the capital cities will be given a higher priority. 

“We are specifically looking for co-working spaces who work with startups, where the programme will provide them with the knowledge on how to mentor these startups for growth, assist in adding more employees and build capacity of the co-working spaces,” Rania Youssef, Program Manager at AUC Venture Lab says. She added that they will later on create startup-related events to help with employment and exposure. While Hivos has implemented this programme before in other MENA countries, this is the first ever initiative to take place in Egypt intertwining co-working spaces with sustainable employment.

An abundance of benefits flow out of this programme, from physically building the co-working space, to participating in the SEED’s Training of Trainers to attending other knowledge-possessed workshops. Most importantly, the grants provided will be used across the programme timeline, whether it’s for the improvement of the area and equipment, for marketing and communication purposes or HR-based tasks.

The programme will begin in August this year with the selection and validation phase, while the following two months are development-focused, packed with a variety of trainings and workshops. For a whole year starting January of 2018, they will focus on supporting entrepreneurs and employment through in-practice fellowships, trainings for the youth and grants offered to the selected co-working spaces.

Click here to apply before the application deadline on the 31st of August. 

Photo: Egypt's Urban Station coworking space, by @MO4Network's #MO4Productions.

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