- The one-of-a-kind new program will provide heavy operating support to admitted scaleups who demonstrate their alignment to the program themes, while fast-tracking them for consideration for technical assistance by the GGF, the program sponsor
Impact-centered accelerator Changelabs, one of the top 10 accelerators in the Middle East, has recently announced the launch of its leading “Scale Up To Green” accelerator targeting top Egyptian resource eﬃciency, green energy, and agritech companies. The program is being launched in partnership with the Green for Growth Fund (GGF), which is a Euro 600m+ investment fund, supported by the European Union under its EU4Energy initiative. The fund channels financing toward initiatives that expand renewable energy, increase energy efficiency, and reduce the use of natural resources. The program will also count Amazon Web Services (AWS), and MINT by EGBank as partners. This accelerator will oﬀer SMEs and scale ups unparalleled access to the resources they need to scale, acquire more customers, build the right long-term partnerships, and raise additional rounds of funding.
The program will admit and work closely with 15 leading Egyptian post-revenue scale-ups by mid 2021. Each admitted startup will be considered for additional support by the GGF Technical Assistance Facility for future collaborations , gain access to technology and design services, product build-out support, and a day to day hands on operating partner for 6 months that will help scale their business with them – a ﬁrst in the MENA region.
“While the Egyptian ecosystem is one of the most robust in the MENA region, and accelerators and VCs are everywhere, there’s a huge gap in the scale-up and operating segments of the startup support menu – we aim to bring together the right stakeholders to ﬁll that gap, in Egypt and beyond” says Karim Samra, CEO & founder of Changelabs. He adds, “Simultaneously, organic farming, clean energy, eﬃcient buildings, agriculture, and access to water are all priorities.”
The program’s focus on key sustainability outcomes is particularly suited to the Egyptian market, as the country is undergoing a Green Energy and Resource Eﬃciency renaissance, spurred by local constraints and pressure exerted by double-digit population growth coupled with global demand as reﬂected in competitive export markets.
“We are thrilled to partner up with Changelabs to launch the ﬁrst Green Scale-Up Accelerator in the region. MINT by EGBANK’s long-term strategy and vision is to empower young entrepreneurs with the needed tools and technical support considered crucial for their business’ growth. We understand that the Egyptian Scale-up Ecosystem is underserved and has lots of potential therefore we, at MINT by EGBANK, are committed to play an eﬀective role as a real contributor to the ecosystem in the various crucial arenas including green energy and green economy.” Says Nelly Mahmoud, Chief Communication Oﬃcer & Head of Youth Beyond Banking & Financial Inclusion at EGBANK.
The program’s design and structure are in the ﬁnal stages. SMEs and scale ups across Egypt are now invited to apply to the program through Changelabs’ website (changelabsme.org) and will be considered on a rolling basis through Q2 of 2021.
Over the last 3 years, Changelabs has been turning impactful ideas into startups and helping existing companies scale up with the support of major European development banks, governments, and regional private sector partners. With ﬁnancial headquarters in Cyprus and operating programs in Amman, Cairo, and Beirut, the ﬁrm has trained over 10,000 youth, launched over 40 startups, and provided more than 400 job opportunities thus far. Changelabs’ mission is to give impact entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed while delivering lasting impact on the MENA region.
About MINT by EGBANK
MINT by EGBANK is a platform dedicated to the young and curious – enabling them to access the world of banking, accelerate their business, and unleash their potential. It aims at developing the capabilities of youth and introducing them to the world of banking in a fun and innovative way.
About Green for Growth Fund (GGF)
The Green for Growth Fund invests in measures designed to cut energy use and CO2 emissions, and improve resource efficiency in 19 markets across Southeast Europe, the Caucasus, Ukraine, Moldova, the Middle East and North Africa. The fund provides such financing directly to renewable energy projects, corporates and municipalities or indirectly via selected financial institutions. The GGF’s Technical Assistance Facility maximizes the fund’s investment impact through support for capacity building at local financial institutions and partners.
The GGF was initiated as a public-private partnership in December 2009 by Germany’s KfW Development Bank and the European Investment Bank, with financial support from the European Commission, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Austrian Development Bank (OeEB). The fund’s growing investor base comprises donor agencies, international financial institutions and institutional private investors, including the International Finance Corporation, the Dutch development bank FMO, and the German ethical bank GLS. The GGF is advised by Finance in Motion GmbH. MACS Energy & Water GmbH, Frankfurt am Main acts as the technical advisor.