I hope to feel influential and that my presence in society and among family and friends is important. I want to spread the culture of acceptance and co-existence, and the values of freedom, cooperation, justice, and respecting our differences.
Amina El Masry, participant in the joint programme between Ashoka Egypt and Red Ochre
British Council funded
To foster creative and social enterprise in Egypt and create social change and contribute strongly to GDP. Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies (DICE) aims to bring government, academia, civil society and businesses to work on developing creative ventures to help mitigate poverty, inequality and joblessness for young people, promote women’s empowerment and support marginalised groups.
Egypt has faced many economic challenges during the last decade with strong social repercussions. However, entrepreneurship in Egypt is booming, leveraging a talented, young population. DICE not only offers new ways to build start-ups that are profitable and responsive to local challenges, but also creates international opportunities and connections for young people to reach a more prosperous future. It does this by delivering initiatives at systemic, institutional and individual of the economy, promoting a more enabling environment for creative and social enterprise.
At an institutional level, we have partnered with four ministries to share the UK’s learnings with policy makers on how to attain a sustainable, integrated and inclusive economy through creative and social enterprise. Grants were extended to 13 projects and organisations, and institutional links were created between UK and Egypt-based non-profit organisations to deliver capacity training. The Young ChangemakHERS Training and Competition is one project example supporting young female leaders aged 14-20. In project delivery, adaptations have included easing travel difficulties for female participants through close communication between partners and parents; via participant WhatsApp groups and group travel arrangements. Activity schedules have also been altered to accommodate school and university schedules.
In Egypt, a total of 1400 individuals and 160 social and 80 creative enterprises received direct training opportunities due to DICE grants. In addition, 1000 indirect services will be delivered before end of year to creative communities and target groups, with the purpose of creating jobs and fostering social entrepreneurship.
Partnerships with four ministries and government institutions will lead to establishing new - or develop existing - creative hubs and incubators focused on creative and social enterprise. We have provided social enterprise training to eight ministries, four national institutes and three universities. Almost 250 government employees have received training so far. DICE will also support the Ministry of Communication and Information Technologies in creating job opportunities for people with special needs and will transfer know-how for the development of assistive technologies.
DICE has faced challenges in the country, such as difficulty convincing parents to let young women participate in projects due to their age and, for many, their first experience travelling alone. These concerns have been eased with close communication between partners and parents, participant WhatsApp groups and group travel arrangements. Activities have also been altered to take place in the Summer months to allow participants to attend given their school or university schedules.
We seek to transfer the UK’s knowledge in creative and social enterprise through cultural exchange with other countries. The programme is building connections, enhancing the UK’s reputation as a leader in the development of creative industries and leading to new partnerships with national governments, non-profit institutions and creative entrepreneurs. For example, Red Ochre, a UK-based social enterprise consultancy, partners with Ashoka Arab World and the British Council to deliver the Young ChangemakHERS project. DICE also supports Sustainable Development Goals number eight and ten.