For some of the world’s most successful businesses, it’s essential to have a global outlook and target new markets. The same can be said for entrepreneurs with an idea for a new enterprise. While the most developed economies can have proven benefits, there are numerous emerging economies that can encourage start-ups to thrive. In recent years, Egypt is one market with a lot to offer. So, what do you need to think about if starting a new business in Egypt?
As with any fledgeling idea, a new business in Egypt must do one of two things. It must tap into existing or unserved demand for a specific product or service. Or it should look to capitalize on the distinct attributes of the Egyptian market. There are idiosyncratic ways of doing business in the Arab republic that mark the boundary of success and failure too. Knowing and appreciating these can ensure that you start a new Egypt-based business off on solid foundations.
How to Start a Business in Egypt?
Egypt’s economic strengths, opportunities and potential
The Egyptian economy has undergone a transformation in the last few years. While the impact of Covid-19 cannot be ignored, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported a 5.6% growth in GDP for 2019. The pandemic has taken its toll on the national economy as one might expect. Even so, the World Bank is still forecasting positive economic growth for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. This is in contrast to several other economies, which are predicted to contract in 2021.
Since the turn of the century, policies have transformed Egypt’s economy into a market-based system. As such, the conditions for inward investment – particularly from overseas – are more favourable. There are other strengths and opportunities too. Egypt has a young workforce and a strategic location that connects the Asian and African continents. It is also home to the Suez Canal, which is an important trading link and a gateway for Egyptian businesses to the world.
Enlist specialist support to achieve business success
As with any country, Egypt is subject to its own tax and regulatory systems that any potential business operator must be aware of. For entrepreneurs with no prior experience, there can be various requirements that seem complex and unfamiliar. This is when it can be a huge benefit to call on the support of specialists who understand the various considerations and can advise you on the course of action you need to take.
For this, you can call on a firm such as RSM to provide the myriad of audit, business advisory, tax or consulting services you are likely to need. With an acute local understanding and global knowledge network to draw on, this comprehensive array of service can ensure your business is best placed to navigate any risks. While Egypt is improving its ease of doing business, there are still unique considerations that only local specialists are able to advise on.
The cultural considerations of doing business in Egypt
It is one thing to negotiate the various structural demands of starting a new business in Egypt. But you can’t afford to overlook the sometimes delicate cultural considerations too. And that is something that foreign investors and entrepreneurs must treat seriously. Many values that are common in Egyptian business are born out of tradition. Honour, hierarchy and punctuality are just some of the carefully-held attributes. Failing to adhere and respect these could do severe damage to new relationships before they even develop when starting a business in Egypt.
Of course, it’s an important point that underlines the fact that launching a new business in an unfamiliar country calls for careful and detailed planning. It is not enough to simply have that initial idea. It must be nurtured and brought to life in a way that provides a stable foundation for the future. And sometimes it needs the guidance and advice of specialists with experience of the local market. Only then can you be sure that you’re ready to fulfil your new potential.