USAID Egypt currently funds two programs within its economic growth division, The Workforce Improvement and Skills Enhancement (WISE) and Strengthening Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development (SEED) programs. Both programs aim at creating new jobs and generate additional income for Egyptian small business owners, laborers and entrepreneurs, especially women and youth. Both programs are part of the overall USAID funded Trade and Investment Promotion in Egypt (TIPE) program in partnership with the Ministry of International Cooperation. Several local Consultancy assignments and business opportunities will / are emerging.
The Workforce Improvement and Skill Enhancement (WISE) project is implemented by Management & Training Corporation (MTC) since October 2015. WISE contract is for three years, with a fourth year option, for a total value of US$22 million. The project works with the Ministry of Technical and Vocational Education and Training to help Egyptians improve their workplace skills and ultimately enhance local economy. The project improves technical secondary education to meet the needs of the job market, benefiting vocational school students and teachers as well as the private sector.
Areas of interventions include :
- Establishing partnerships between businesses and technical schools in order to understand skills needed for employment – reducing the current skills mismatch, creating a pool of qualified candidates, and linking students with jobs.
- Cultivating and promoting innovation in the provision of workforce development by upgrading and improving curricula of selected vocational training programs thus improving labor productivity.
- Introducing human resource strategies of the private sector companies thus reducing staff turnover; and
- Encouraging policy and regulatory reform by strengthening the capacity of business interest groups to advocate for a stronger workforce and labor market efficiency
The Strengthening Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development (SEED) program is implemented by AECOM International Development since November 2015. SEED is a 4-year program with total funding of US$22.9 million. SEED provides technical support to small business ventures in order to assist them with the creation of structured business plans that will guide them towards the acquirement of both private and public funds; develop and enhance new business ideas; and conduct market research.
Project interventions include :
- Working with Business incubators to help facilitate the early growing process of micro small and medium businesses. Incubators provide valuable business support services such as marketing assistance, management strategies, networking activities, access to venture capital as well as to business training among others
- Supporting Special Business Service Centers (One Stop Shop-OSS) similar to “Tamayouz” Center established in Alexandria in 2012, which streamlines ministerial approval process for registration certificates. Such centers will serve as model for future centers throughout Egypt.
- Supporting value-based chains among MSME's. Successful value-based chains fosters growth and profitability potential; generates employment and facilitates strong backward and forward linkages