What We Do
CEI is dedicated to nurturing entrepreneurship knowledge in the region; supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem; while advocating sustainable entrepreneurship that acts as a catalyst for growth and innovation.
Our roadmap to execute our mission is through spearheading initiatives that enhance entrepreneurship networking, learning capabilities, and entrepreneurs’ support, such as:
Build institutional capacity to run world-class entrepreneurship education programs. This is attainable through capitalizing on the Babson Collaborative university membership to explore innovative and impactful ways of shaping the next generation of entrepreneurs through faculty development and academic programs enhancement.
CEI Launched the Experiential Learning Entrepreneurship Program (ELEP) in Fall 2020.
- The program aims at providing experiential learning opportunities to entrepreneurship students, enhancing their understanding of the material they’re learning, and expanding their scope of practical knowledge. The program includes the following: CEI Launched the Experiential Learning Entrepreneurship Program (ELEP) in Fall 2020. The program aims at providing experiential learning opportunities to entrepreneurship students, enhancing their understanding of the material they are learning, and expanding their scope of practical knowledge. The program includes the following:
- Webinar Series and Mentor Workshops; during Fall 2020, the series tackled pressing entrepreneurship topics, where students are encouraged to engage and reflect upon within their course work, by submitting reflective reports. The objective is to educate students of the innovations driving our economies today, to expose them to the varying rising sectors, especially beyond COVID, and to inspire them to be agents of positive change ignited with an entrepreneurial spirit and drive.
- Business Plan Project and Pitchathon; this project targets enrolled students in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Course. Notably, this course is often registered by 100+ students from different disciplines and majors further magnifying our impact potential and diverse reach. Student teams received scheduled mentoring sessions from industry experts who guided them towards developing their business models, providing them with insights drawn from their practical experiences. An initial screening of team presentations was selected by professors to compete in the Pitchathon (Business Plan Competition) in Dec. 2020; we had five competing teams. The winning team will then participate in Babson Collaborative 2021 Global Student Challenge.
In September 2020, CEI was awarded the UN Women program “Women Economic Empowerment Program – Entrepreneurship support”. Under the program, CEI aims to support women entrepreneurs to help reduce the gender gap in the Egyptian entrepreneurship ecosystem. Throughout two years, CEI will target 1000 female beneficiaries age 21 and above, who often lack specific skills that are relevant for starting their own businesses. The project will pay attention to targeting women from underprivileged and rural areas in seven governorates.
Events showcasing the role of human experience in start-ups and entrepreneurship through a blend of education and entertainment, targeted at aspiring and innovative entrepreneurs in various stages and the entire ecosystem. The events showcase a full cycle of failure and success storytelling, aiming to provide entrepreneurs with validated learning.
CEI Students Engagement
CEI inspires, coaches, and develops entrepreneurial students through engaged learning and strengthening community relationships. The center equips students with the tools, experiences, and networking opportunities required to enable them to creatively pursue new opportunities in start-up ventures.
Annual International Case Competition (ICC); In April 2019, the ICC brought together teams of students from all over the world, to compete in solving a challenging business case. This was the first competition of its kind organized in Egypt and focusing on business challenges facing high-growth entrepreneurial ventures. Six International and three national universities participated in the competition, a total of 34 students, eight mentors and 14 Judges. The competition provided students with a unique learning experience to understand the business and entrepreneurship landscape in Egypt, Africa and the Middle East, including complex issues around consumer behavior, economic trends, regulatory and policy reforms, technology adoption and the supporting ecosystem. The aim of the case-solving competition was to blend a cross-cultural understanding of working with Egyptian students and entrepreneurs with a grasp of the Egyptian culture in a well-designed process. The 2019 case was about SWVL, a revolutionary idea that was born from passion, loyalty, and persistence to face all challenges on the table. Swvl is not just a means to facilitate commuting, but a hunger to strive for solutions, encourage the contribution of youth in innovation and inspire change.
However, providing the outbreak of COVID - 19, and in April 2020, the case competition was held online. 11 AUC student teams competed via Zoom on identifying challenges confronting a full-service digital agency, Robusta Studios. The 4-hour online case competition was a great way and thought-provoking method for students to identify challenges facing Robusta and to develop a strategy to address these key concerns in order to help Robusta attain their goals.
Despite the different structures of 2019 and 2020 case competition, both proved to be highly impactful and memorable, not only to the students but also to the start-ups, mentors, judges and the entire team.
This year 2021, the competition will have a flavor from each of the last two Case competitions; it will target international undergraduate students and will be held virtually and will target international students who wish to learn and find solutions to challenges facing rising startups in Egypt especially beyond the pandemic.
Ideas Incubation Program (Boost); a student-led early-stage virtual incubation program only for university students. Since the majority of learning and submissions will be conducted virtually, the incubator accepts admission from university students not only in Egypt but also from the MENA region. (Plan to launch in 2021)
Annual Regional Hackathon; Hackathons are great tools to increase students' experience working in small groups and share their creative skills; while igniting innovative solutions to current social and economic problems. Hackathons also provide great accessibility to scholarships and mentorships. In June 2020, CEI launched its first-ever Virtual Hackathon with a total of 137 teams, with the total 388 participants, to engage in finding quick and vital solutions for the current COVID-19 crisis. With the guidance and mentorship of 43 subject matter experts and coaches, and evaluated by 26 esteemed judges. Hackathon 2021 will run in June.