Algeria is the largest country in Africa, situated in North Africa with a population of approximately 45 million. The GDP is Algeria was worth $191.92 billion in 2022. The hydrocarbon sector accounted for 19 percent of GDP, 93 percent of product exports, and 38 percent of budget revenues between 2016 and 2021. Algeria aspires to diversify its economy to vary the country’s sources of revenues and improve employment prospects, particularly for young people, given the country’s demographic profile, with an unemployment rate in 2021 standing at 12.7 percent of the total labor force and 31.9 percent among young people.
Promoting entrepreneurship and supporting the SMEs became a focal point for the Algerian government as one of their economic development strategy. The Ministry of Economy of Knowledge, Start-ups was created in January 2020. The Ministry has been providing financial support to start-ups and micro-enterprises, including tax incentives for those obtaining the “Start-up” or “Innovation Project” label, in addition to access to finance with the introduction of Algeria Start-up Fund (ASF). In a recent report, ministry stated that a record of 5,000 start-ups being registered, with 1,100 of them having received the “Start-up” or “Innovative Project” label, while the number of incubators increased from 14 to 60 between 2020 and 2023 across the entire national territory. ASF in return financed 95 startups since its inception.
CEED Algeria started in 2021 with the implementation of Fintech Catalyst program, an open innovation program funded by the US State Department. Our cohort included 22 startups that received a series of technical and personal development support during a time span of two years, and where given an opportunity to work closely with banking and insurance institutions on solving real business problems and secure purchase orders.