Tui Care Foundation and not-for-profit organisation enpact have launched a start-up programme in Cairo to combat the city’s entrepreneurial challenges.

The Travel Tech 4 Good Accelerator programme aims to foster entrepreneurship and provide founders with access to support services and expertise in the travel and tourism industries.

The programme will also specifically focus on the start-ups social impact and sustainability within their business model, which also develop inclusive tourism in Egypt by creating shared value for local communities.

Six start-ups will be chosen and given professional training, office space, mentoring and financial services in enpact’s workshop hub, ‘Startup Haus’, from September to November 2019. On ‘competition day’ in early December, the winning start-up will receive a financial reward and access to a wider network of international investors and potential clients. Applications for participants open in July.

According to enpact’s Startup Friendliness Index, Cairo’s entrepreneurial ecosystem lacks accessible expertise, finance and support services for founders.

Meanwhile, tourism in Egypt has grown from 5.4 million tourists to 9 million from 2016 to 2018.

Thomas Ellerbeck, Board of Tui Care Foundation chairman, said: “Tourism in Egypt is well positioned to boost the country’s economic development in the future. We want the travel and tourism sector to be sustainable and inclusive, so that it benefits vulnerable parts of the population.

“Part of the journey is to support entrepreneurs who empower the livelihoods of the local population through technology, linking holidaymakers to products and services in rural areas, for example.”

Jan Lachenmayer, enpact managing director, commented: “Being embedded in Cairo’s start-up scene since 2013, we were part of its inception and experienced the power entrepreneurship can unfold within a young, talented, and change-driven population.

“Nonetheless, the startup ecosystem still faces challenges such as access to knowledge, financing opportunities, and experienced mentors. We’re tackling these aspects together with TUI Care Foundation by implementing the Travel Tech Accelerator programme.”

Familiar to North Africa, enpact now offers services to fit the needs of the local community, from start-up support at different stages of their development, to ecosystem assessments, policy advice and capacity building for support organisations and mentors.