Social entrepreneurship, undoubtedly, plays a key role as a driving engine for economic and social development in local communities, especially in informal areas in Greater Cairo. Yet getting the necessary funding for these projects, particularly in its early stages, is the first major obstacle facing young entrepreneurs. Hence, this workshop on “Social Entrepreneurship: the Traditional Tools of Finance and the Innovative Tools of Crowd Funding” organized by the GIZ Participatory Development programme in the Urban Areas, inviting Izz El-Din Mohammed, founder Tennra platform (http://tennra.com/) for crowd funding to discuss the reasons behind the failure of some of the traditional financing instruments to provide the required support, and highlight some of the new funding methods.
The round table held on Oct 24th, 2015, addressed namely the online crowdfunding platforms; the possibilities, the pros and cons and the legal aspects of these instruments. The workshop will also display many other innovative alternative financial tools available and how to best use of them, these include: Venture Capital funds, Investments, along with crowd funding. The workshop will also discuss some traditional tools already available in the banking sector such as financial leasing and factoring, but will offer innovative uses for these tools to support start-ups in upscaling.
The event included open discussion between the presenters, Ms Olfa Tantawi and Mr Izz El-Din Mohammed, and the attendees where youth entrepreneurs did pose their queries about crowdfunding and how to use platforms such as Tennra. In addition some models of successful crowdfunding examples were presented and explained to attendees along with important useful tips regarding how to locate and manage best optimum use of online crowdfunding platforms.
Social entrepreneurship is a newly added concept to the culture of business and start-up companies. These social enterprises are viable businesses’ that aim mainly at providing innovative solutions to existing chronic social problems. They are usually financed using financial tools that differ drastically from the traditional tools since they aim at creating a social value along with actual monetary profit. This means that they are most often profitable projects in the medium and long term, which represents a challenge to traditional financing institutions that seek to maximize their investments and recover the funds provided by offering loans as soon as possible.
With more than 29% of Egyptian youth being unemployed and an existing deficit in quality jobs for aspiring and motivated youth, social entrepreneurship is seen as an opulent resource for youth to create employment opportunities for themselves, and to support youth engage in the upgrading of their communities. This approach meets the objectives of social inclusion, while tackling the challenges of poverty, unemployment and other gaps in services that the Egyptian government and the civil society are trying to resolve.