Misr El-Kheir Foundation organized a workshop “GESR social innovation summit” at the Greek campus on October 20,2015 to gather and mobilize Egypt’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors towards creating sustainable business ventures that tackle Egypt’s societal challenges through turning them into profitable business opportunities with clear and strong financial and social return on investment.
The annual summit invited top expertise from around the world to transfer their knowledge, experience, and know-how to the Egyptian entrepreneurial ecosystem through a number of intensive workshops and lectures. Such annual gathering allowed for better communication and collaboration between different stakeholders towards a common goal of creating a social movement that is centered on using technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship to benefit those who are at the base of the economic pyramid.
IDRC seized this opportunity and participated with a session led by Raed M. Sharif, Senior Program Officer at the Networked Economies Program at IDRC, entitled "Unleashing the Economic Power of Data for Entrepreneurship in Egypt" during this event in order to explore the existing and potential possibilities for business generation around data (i.e., data-driven entrepreneurial activities), where future career building and job growth are foreseen. There were discussions and activities related to the ways in which digital entrepreneurship and data-driven innovation can contribute to the future of career building and job creation for youth in Egypt.
The session described the data as the new oil. Since it is the world’s greatest free resource that is helping thousands of entrepreneurs around the world launch new businesses and come up with products and services that we could not even imagine a few years ago. It is also seen as the foundation on which innovators and entrepreneurs can build innovative products and services. The session also discussed the potential economic and social value of data for entrepreneurship, Identified and presented examples from around the world, the MENA region and Egypt. Finally it discussed issues related to the potential challenges and obstacles that entrepreneurs could face related to policy and regulations, effective business models to work with large companies and bridge makers, and, most importantly, digital and data-related skills shortage.