It is a direct response of the ICT-TF to support MSMEs as a mechanism that will generate employment and support entrepreneurship countrywide. The "ICT for M/SMEs development program" was launched in June 2006 by the MCIT represented by Egypt ICT Trust Fund (ICT-TF) With a vision of conquering barriers facing the adoption of ICTs and creating an incentive climate to cope with the national trends for the economic development.
Vision Create a business enabling environment to the development of M/SMEs through the potential of ICTs.
Goal Building capacity for Egyptian M/SMEs to leverage ICTs in generating employment and creating efficient, better connected and more competitive enterprises through utilizing ICT tools and applications through partnership with Civil Societies Associations.
ICT can play a very important role because it can help SMEs both create business opportunities and combat pressures from competition. Appropriate ICT tools can help SMEs cut costs by improving their internal process, improving their product through faster communication with their customers, and better promoting and distributing their products through online presence.
In fact, ICT has the potential to improve to improve the core business of SMEs in every step of the business process.
The program will work on developing the MSMEs sector through:
- Exploring the situation to identifies obstacles hinder SMEs to adopt ICT.
- Creating an enabling environment to enable SMEs to adopt ICTs
- Identifying local opportunities for SMEs to benefit from the growth of markets.
- Helping SMEs to address larger markets and aggregate commercial offerings.
- Supporting M/SMEs in restructuring their business and processes via ICT and the Internet.
- Promoting the upgrading of SME s capacity in the use of ICT
- Encouraging NGOs to serve MSMEs in deployment of IT into their business.
- Raising awareness and promotion for the IT importance in improving MSMEs business.
- Promoting networking and knowledge sharing between MSMEs.
- Supporting SMEs to have access to appropriate ICT tools and application.
- Enabling SMEs to turn local challenges into opportunities.
The win-win partnership strategy is the core of the ICT For SMEs program work scoop. Through fruitful networking with multiple partners, the ICT-TF was able to enhance the program scale and maximaize the benefits .The progression of the program obviously reflects a mutual understand on each party benefits and unified efforts to attain one broad vision of adopting ICT for the development of SME, to promot socioeconomic devlopment in Egypt.
ICT for MSMEs Program Progression
The ICT For MSMSE program consists of several projects basicly directed to the development of the SMEs sector in Egypt. Each of the programs project shed light on the progression achieved over the progam liftime phases, through mutual cooperations with the program multi stakholders.
The program was initiated on July 2006 with" ICTs for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development in Egypt, ICT4MSMEs "a three-year-pilot research project" funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) .
On August 2008 the ICT Fund started the program second phase , through partnership with Microsoft Unlimited Potential Program to implement the ICT For MSMEs Program's second projects entitled " ICT Development for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Egypt".
The program third phase started on July 2009 with a project entitled " Implementation of rural micro, small and medium enterprises services using ICT in Egypt". The project implemented through the partnership between the ICT-TF and the Islamic Bank Group for Development
Phase 1: Exploring the situation and identifying the challenges.
Phase 2: Reaching out and professional skills promotions.
Phase 3: Stepping forward towards sustainability
phase 4: ICT for Youth Employment
The objective of the proposed project phase 4 is to address the labor market requirements and introduce a capacity building program that adapts the fresh graduates as well as M/SMEs using ICT. This training will include innovative solutions for youth in order to provide employment outcomes through the creation of sustainable opportunities for a highly skilled workforce that meets the labor market requirements. A special care will be addressed to women opportunities since women present about 49% of population, and 39.5% of the workforce.