The Covid-19 pandemic has encountered the business world with a threat of halt. It has spread across the globe at a rapid pace, disrupting and debilitating entire industries in its wake. While lockdown has caused the dwindling of various-industry businesses, small and large scale retailers are revamping their models in an attempt to positively respond to the repercussions of the situation. Now more than ever, Egyptian local markets in vulnerable and rural areas are affected and need innovative support.
Seedspace Cairo in partnership with UNFWP launched an E-commerce awareness campaign and competition to help businesses integrate digital transformation in their modules. Under the theme of “It’s Easier Online”, the hackathon addresses the challenges faced by local markets in vulnerable communities since the outbreak of coronavirus.
“The virus highlights the urgency to rethink the workspace, the workflow, the education and the way we live. E-commerce now is a big part of our lives and there is still a lot to learn, improvements to make and trust to gain,” said Mary Sherif, General Manager of Seedspace Cairo.
Innovators, entrepreneurs, marketing and design gurus are invited to tackle one of the two challenges; (A) markets, such as Attaba, Mosky, Darb El Barabra had closed down, the vendors were losing money by the hour and consumers had no access to their needs. (B) Farmers and producers in Upper Egypt don’t have access to a broad consumer base, especially with the limited movement between rural and urban areas.
How would you step up to solve these challenges?
In an interview with startups 101, Mary spoke about the importance of supporting vulnerable and rural communities in this crisis, “It is the most vulnerable populations that are likely to be those that suffer the worst. And while digital transformation and Financial technology is being sped up because of the outbreak, the vulnerable communities will be left behind. But that’s not it. There is so much untapped potential and opportunities in these markets and there are so many successful examples we can look at and aspire to become. We want this to become the first step into creating a different map of Egypt. A map with Egypt’s special products for each governorate that might even inspire a new way of tourism,” Mary said.
The top three winners will get incubated by an Incubator under the Academy of Scientific Research & Technology and get EGP 200,000 in initial funding.
Top 5 winners will receive support from Seedstars to implement business models submitted, discounted services from the partners, 3 months free membership with Zvendo, 6 months free membership with Vexls, in addition, to support on Logistics and Data from Aramex.
The hackathon comes in partnership with World Food Programme, Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, ASRT The National Council for Women, Shira For Trade & Agencies, UNDP Egypt, Startup Haus Cairo, Life Vision for development and Ashoka Arab World.
Deadline for application is the 18th of June. Apply from this link.