The early implementation evaluation of the Egyptian American Enterprise Fund (EAEF) was implemented by Banyan Global in collaboration with Millennium Partners under the USAID Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning (PPL) Monitoring and Evaluation (EVAL ME) indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract. The objective of this task order was to provide USAID/Washington with a full, evidence-based and independent, early performance evaluation of EAEF’s first five years of implementation. EAEF’s overall goal, supporting a more competitive, private-sector led and inclusive Egyptian economy, is to increase private sector investments in promising small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); promote and disseminate international commercial best practices; and attempt to “crowd-in” investment in Egypt’s SMEs from other sources.
The evaluation rigorously examined the processes, governance and operational structures which have been established to date in order to provide USAID and EAEF with conclusive findings on the extent to which these structures have laid the groundwork for successfully achieving the EAEF’s legislative and grant agreement purposes and provides recommendations to improve future programming.
Major findings of the evaluation include:
EAEF laid some but not all of the key foundations to achieve the legislative and grant agreement’s purpose of developing Egypt’s private sector.
EAEF established a number of appropriate structures and processes to ensure good corporate governance, however there is a lack of formality and/or absence of some important governance structures and processes.
EAEF’s reporting and engagement with the USAID has been informal in some aspects.
There is limited stakeholder engagement. EAEF is known only to a small portion of the Egyptian business and investment communities, so its mandate of fostering goodwill and engagement with the broader host-country community is not being fulfilled.
The structure of EAEF, the Board’s role, and EAEF’s staffing structure increase risks that should be mitigated.
EAEF has not established adequate operational structures to build the foundation to implement EAEF’s goal of developing Egypt’s private sector.
EAEF has not tracked or reported on approved performance metrics. Therefore the Fund cannot demonstrate how it has met or will meet grant and legislative goals.
EAEF investments to date have demonstrated financial success, which contributes to the goal of becoming “self-sustaining” and to some extent catalyzing external investors.
The lack of a formal investment strategy, aligned to the grant agreement’s goals and EAEF’s investment approach, has resulted in the preponderance of funding invested in relatively large and well-established firms.
EAEF has provided no assistance in developing or improving policies and practices to support private sector development in Egypt as required in the legislation.
The evaluation found evidence that EAEF contributed to some extent in catalyzing $30 million in foreign investment in Algebra. Overall, the Fund catalyzed investments in Algebra by co-investing with investors previously active in the Egyptian market to ensure that the minimum fund size was achieved.
The Egypt American Enterprise Fund Evaluation also provided conclusions and recommendations.