American University in Cairo, International Financial Corporation to support entrepreneurship

EGYPTThe Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) at The American University in Cairo (AUC) signed an agreement with the International Financial Corporation (IFC) to support entrepreneurship.

IFC will provide support to CEI within the next 18 months, to adopt and customize the Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyVenture Mentoring Services (MIT VMS) program to the local context. 

CEI will receive the MIT VMS license to become a certified MIT VMS member and will establish a network of qualified mentors to guide aspiring and established entrepreneurs in Egypt throughout the startup life cycle.

The CEI VMS Leadership Team will be responsible for promoting and managing the mentorship network and for identifying, screening and selecting mentors to implement and operate a formal sustainable mentoring program at AUC School of Business based on the MIT VMS Model.

CEI will familiarize the ecosystem stakeholders with the importance of mentoring programs, as well as cooperate and coordinate in the delivery of the MIT VMS program – using the MIT licensed material.

“We are proud to support the creation of a sustainable pool of mentors for Egyptian entrepreneurs in fintech and beyond.”

Dahlia Khalifa – Senior Manager, IFC

“Entrepreneurship is a priority area of engagement for IFC in the MENA region and we are proud to support the creation of a sustainable pool of mentors for Egyptian entrepreneurs in fintech and beyond,” said Dahlia Khalifa, Senior Manager, IFC Creating Markets Advisory in MENA, World Bank Group.

The partnership will support CEI to continue to train mentors on the principles and methodology of the MIT VMS Model through its Leadership Team, and mentors to expand its mentorship network.

“The MIT VMS model is based on the belief that a fledgling business is far more likely to thrive when an entrepreneur with an idea can draw on the advice and guidance of mentors with proven skills and experience — and when such advice is provided by a team of mentors in a conflict-free, confidential, trusted environment,” Hala Barakat, CEI director at AUC School of Business said.

“Such qualified, experienced and unbiased mentor network is what we seek to avail to entrepreneurs and startups in Egypt.”

The MIT VMS model is based on five pillars: a focus on team mentoring; best practices for recruiting and retaining highly qualified and committed volunteer mentors; strict guiding principles that assure unbiased advice to entrepreneurs; formalized processes and procedures; and a focus on developing stronger entrepreneurs. To date, 106 organizations from 23 countries have been trained by MIT VMS.

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