Shoestring expands into Egypt


Shoestring has received support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to launch its latest international scoping study in Egypt. The study will investigate how low-cost digitalisation can be scaled throughout the country to align with local infrastructure and reach local manufacturers. 


The EBRD-funded study is the first step in a proposed three-phase roll-out process for Shoestring in Egypt, which, if successful and aligned with the EBRD's future plans in Egypt, could potentially lead the way for capability building and deployment phases.


EBRD is recruiting manufacturers to deploy Shoestring solutions on their sites. As part of this study the IfM will implement two solutions for two companies, providing them as demos to assess the potential impact of these solutions. Furthermore, EBRD is collaborating with the Institute for Manufacturing to find potential partners and stakeholders, including local consultants, industrial support organisations, sector bodies, and other groups that can assist in the implementation of a possible Shoestring rollout in Egypt.


Digitalisation for sustainable growth

In alignment with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which underlines the immense potential of digitalisation as an enabler of sustainable economic growth, this initiative forms part of EBRD’s proactive approach towards shaping the impact of digitalisation in its regions over the next five years.


The collaboration with Shoestring builds on the bank’s four-year relationship with IfM Engage (the knowledge transfer consultancy within the Institute for Manufacturing), on EBRD’s Star Venture programme and EBRD’s work with small and medium-sized enterprises over the last 25 years.


The Egyptian government and regional business support organisations are particularly interested in supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, which account for 98% of the private sector’s activity. For example, the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology recently embarked on building ‘Digital Egypt’ as part of the Egypt Vision 2030. And in 2020 the Egyptian Ministry of Business launched its ‘Digital Futures’ initiative in 2020 to help support the digitalisation transformation of small- and medium-sized companies.


The Shoestring scoping activity

Shoestring’s activity with local manufacturers kicks off with an online Awareness workshop with several small and medium-sized companies in September 2023, in which participants will consider their business’ top priorities and constraints and explore how low-cost digital solution areas could help address them.


In October 2023, the Shoestring team will travel to Cairo to conduct an event in partnership with local companies and other potential partners for future Shoestring training and deployment opportunities. During their visit, the team plans to install a Shoestring demonstrator solution in two companies. Once the demonstrator solutions have been running for a month, the Shoestring team will collaborate with each company to assess the impact of the solution on their business and determine the necessary next steps.


This is the second international advancement of Shoestring. The first, with the Western Australian government, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is just entering its second phase of regional rollout, having demonstrated the huge demand for digital solutions in this region with the food and beverage sector.



Click here to find out more about Shoestring Digital Manufacturing.

Date published

11 October 2023

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