The hub will look to make itself part of the regional fintech ecosystem, while 50 startups will be chosen across the two new incubators.
Set to be housed in the historic Central Bank of Egypt headquarters in Downtown Cairo, the ‘Innovation and Financial Technology Center’ is looking to bring together all of the local fintech ecosystem stakeholders. In support of the booming sector, the innovation hotspot is set to launch two incubators for emerging companies working to develop fintech solutions, each accepting 25 startups. The trial phase of the centre is scheduled to open in June 2022, launching its operations in September.
Fintech has emerged as one of the most lucrative industries across the globe, with a slew of startups leveraging the power of tech to widen the frontiers of financial activities and stimulate emerging markets like Egypt. Plagued by a lack of financial literacy, large segments of Egypt’s population are unbanked, making the market particularly ripe for penetration and innovation. Cognizant of the immense potential fintech holds in transforming Egypt’s economy, CBE is vying to position the country as a regionally-recognised fintech hub by nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem and investing in talent and innovative development.
CBE’s new MENA-focused centre will provide emerging fintechs with the infrastructure needed to succeed; the hub will offer startups cutting-edge technology, high-speed internet and more importantly, a platform to communicate and connect with other stakeholders in the sector.
An advisory board including the heads of a number of FinTech companies will be established to direct the operations of the center, understand the needs of workers in the sector and fulfill their demands. This board will be tasked with devising plans for regional expansions, training professionals and providing jobs needed by the labor market.
The center will soon begin to accept submissions from startups for the incubators following the same mechanisms as Flat6Labs, AUC Venture Labs and EFG astronomy.
The 50 most-funded startups in MENA for 2021 raised a record investment of approximately $3 billion. Seven of those companies came out of Egypt, taking a modest share of the financing at $248.6 million. This new centre will play a pivotal role in helping Egypt attain up a larger slice of the investment in fintech regionally.