U.S. Embassy Highlights Entrepreneurship Opportunities in Algeria The U.S. Embassy in Algiers is committed to fostering entrepreneurship and diversifying the economy in Algeria and has a cadre of programs aimed at doing so, according to remarks made by Gautam Rana, the Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy during a Tuesday morning virtual conference on entrepreneurship https://youtu.be/Eq9m1ZJWKTQ.
Entrepreneurship, innovation, and risk-taking are deeply ingrained in the fabric of the United States, Rana said during the “Entrepreneurship in Algeria: Challenges and Opportunities” conference, which was hosted by the U.S. Embassy and live-streamed to its YouTube channel. He pointed to famous American entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs of Apple, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, and Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX.
“These individuals have lived the essence of the ‘American dream’ – that America is a place where people who take initiative and work hard can build their own future and achieve their goals,” Rana said.
Rana highlighted a number of U.S. Embassy programs aimed at helping Algerians develop entrepreneurial and employable business skills. Over the years, the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) of the U.S. government has supported numerous entrepreneurship projects in Algeria, implemented by talented local and international organizations, including the Algerian Startup Initiative and World Learning, which were featured in today’s conference. Recent MEPI entrepreneurship projects have resulted in thousands of young entrepreneurs trained, hundreds of new enterprises launched, and tens of emerging businesses attaining stability in more than 20 wilayas across the country. Perhaps the U.S. Embassy’s most well-known entrepreneurship program is Andi Hulm, Algeria’s first entrepreneurship reality TV program, which was produced by the U.S. Embassy and aired on Algerian television from late 2019 to early 2020. The show will be re-released on the U.S. Embassy Algiers’ YouTube channel, starting this week.
The conference also featured remarks from Algerian Minister Delegate for the Knowledge Economy and Startups Yacine El-Mehdi Oualid. The minister delegate noted that Algeria “is facing some big challenges right now, the most important one being the shift from an economic model based on oil revenues to a more sustainable, more resilient, and more ambitious economy.” Calling for greater innovation to spur economic growth, the minister delegate said, “to solve tomorrow’s problems, we need fresh solutions and ideas today.”
During his presentation, El-Mehdi Oualid highlighted the progress that has been made recently in Algeria in terms of providing resources for entrepreneurs, including creative a new public fund called the Algerian Startup Fund for investment in startup businesses, as well as the launch of the first public startup accelerator, Algeria Venture, which “provides funding, training, coaching, and everything that a startup needs to start its business.”
The U.S. Embassy held Tuesday’s conference to highlight entrepreneurship and private sector growth as crucial factors to the development and diversification of the Algerian economy, and also in honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Today, more than 180 countries honor Global Entrepreneurship Week, the goal of which is to make it easier for anyone, anywhere — from America to Algeria — to start and scale a business.
Tuesday’s virtual entrepreneurship conference also featured Algerian entrepreneurs Ahmed Ramy Mebrouk, founder of the Feynan artistic network and a leader in NRecylci, which aims to be Algeria’s first recycling ecosystem; and Chada El Islam Benmahcene, who is the managing director of the forthcoming ENTROGX Academy, which will focus on the technology ecosystem in the south of Algeria. Other panelists included Yacin Rahmoun of the Algieran Startup Initiative and Mehdi Bentoumi and Hamza Koudri from the NGO World Learning.