Supporting the creative economy
Reflecting the Bank’s CSR & Sustainable Development strategy to support the creative economy and revive traditional art, as well as promote gender equality and women empowerment, ALEXBANK signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Drosos Foundation under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Solidarity.
Under the signed MoU, ALEXBANK and Drosos Foundation will work on three different projects tackling the development of the creative economy sector and the capacity building of local craftsmen and women. The first project, called “Bagaweet” (translates into Our Language in Red Sea Dialect) aims at training 150 women of the Red Sea Governorate on different handicrafts, reviving the Red Sea area handicrafts while securing opportunities of stable income generation.
The second project aims at providing non-financial and advisory services to guide Egyptian craftsmen and women to create promotional content for their work on “Ebda3 men Masr” Official Handicrafts Online Brand Store, a dedicated digital store showcasing the products of more than 3.500 artisans (75% of which are women), hosted in the leading e-commerce platform of Jumia. In their third project, both entities will collaborate to publish an “Atlas for Handicrafts’’, a specialized handout documenting the evolution of Egyptian craftsmanship, from the origin till today.
The signing ceremony took place in KMT House, a designed hub for urban innovators, and was attended by H.E.Nevine El Kabbage, Minister of Social Solidarity, as well as representatives from both entities including Mr. Dante Campioni - CEO & Managing Director of ALEXBANK, Ms. Laila Hosny - Head of CSR & Sustainable Development and Dr. Wessam El Beih - Country Director at Drosos Foundation, while organizing an outdoor bazaar to promote for and sell handicrafts by Ebda3 Men Masr’s artisans, ALEXBANK’s leading CSR initiative which promotes Egyptian handicrafts and traditional arts inherited through generations.
Dr. Mervat Sabreen the Minister’s Deputy for Social Protection and Safety Networks stated that the ministry allocates all its services for supporting the project aiming at empowering women entrepreneurs in Egypt, as well as other projects that are carried by the government in collaboration with different partners in development, other countries, and NGOs to achieve a sustainable development, and enable all society’s segments economically, especially those in need.
Moreover, Sabreen confirmed that the ministry is currently working on the implementation of an integrated strategy to economically empower different segments, especially youth, female heads of households, and informal/ irregular employees with a total budget estimated at EGP 2.4 bln. This starts by supporting for job seekers by providing them with training programs to integrate them in the labor market. The strategy also includes women employment, whom represent 75% of the beneficiaries of the ‘Takaful w Karama’ in rural areas.
Sabreen also referred to the Presidential initiative for supporting the traditional handicrafts industry “Tetlaf f Hareer” (english for Wrapped in silk) which aims at empowering handmade carpets manufacturing, Kilim and Goblan, while contributing in the development of the handmade textile business, which the ministry participates in via a collaboration with ‘Tahya Misr’ fund, NGOs, and private sector entities. The initiative aims to enable 1000 families and over 3000 beneficiaries in addition to establishing a database for the families which benefits to include them under the social security and medical insurance umbrella, while including them to the ministry’s social protection programs, to eventually create a brand for the Egyptian handmade textile and promote it internationally.
She stated that the ministry is currently working on developing its 76 vocational training centers across 26 Egyptian governorates which comes in line with the needs of the society and local market, while empowering targeted segments (the most vulnerable and less fortunate segments) including women, families-in-need, youth, and education dropouts, through developing their digital and technical skills, which accomplishes the development of the handicrafts sector, and the skills of Egyptian handicrafts artisans. “Through this new partnership with Drosos Foundation, we extend our commitment to tackle heritage promotion and preservation, youth employability and women empowerment by enabling, technically and financially, Egyptian craftsmen and women through “Ebda3 Men Masr” (EMM) and “Ghalya” initiatives which already positively impacted the lives of thousands of craftsmen and women. The MoU we’re signing today offers new projects that create shared value in the communities where we operate, for the benefit of about 1,800 persons directly and indirectly.”, said Mr. Dante Campioni, CEO & Managing Director of ALEXBANK.
Dr. Wessam El Beih- Country Director at Drosos Foundation stated “The handicraft sector in Egypt is very rich with diversity and unique talent. Given the needed support to improve designs, enhance skills and ensure quality products that meet market needs; this sector and its workers can bloom. At Drosos foundation, we are very pleased to forge this new partnership with ALEXBANK to cooperate on supporting the handicraft sector and improve economic opportunities for men and women and Egypt. With both organizations’ expertise and commitment, we are certain we can make better impact.”