STAND Up! Growing Innovation program

Stand Up!

STAND Up! Growing Innovation program

Call for entrepreneurship and eco-innovative business projects 


Scaling and supporting Eco-Innovative projects in The Textile, clothing & Fashion Industry


Do you have a project or an idea in the textile and/or fashion industry that is eco-innovative and has circular model? 

Do you want to scale-up and support your innovative business project?


SEKEM development foundation is inviting young entrepreneurs in the clothing and fashion industry who want to transform their ideas or start-ups into scalable eco-friendly textile and fashion ventures. 


Apply now! 


You will benefit from advanced business support, financing opportunities, and regional networking to develop and expand your business across the Mediterranean within ten months.


SEKEM development foundation is calling for young innovators and entrepreneurs in the fashion, clothing, and textile sectors to apply for the Stand-Up Growing Innovation Program! 


This program is funded by the EU under the ENICBCMED Programme and focuses on transforming the entrepreneur’s solutions into scalable eco-friendly businesses contributing to the growth of innovation & business opportunities in the textile, clothing, and fashion industry.


From Egypt, 40 entrepreneurs/start-ups will be selected to join the program. Throughout the 10-month program, SDF will support the entrepreneurs through access to advanced business support, financing opportunities, technical assistance, soft-landing vouchers, and regional business networking to grow their projects into textile or fashion ventures and expand them across the Mediterranean basin.


The program will run in 5 Mediterranean countries – Egypt, Italy, Lebanon, Spain, and Tunisia, building a powerful network of entrepreneurs, eco-innovators, experts, and partners in the textile and fashion industry.


Business Support:

Access to business and technical support designed to meet the needs for entrepreneurship and eco-innovative business projects in the textile, clothing, and fashion industry sectors contributing positively to an environmentally and socially responsible circular model.


Financing Opportunities

Access to funding opportunities with investors and investment readiness training.


Access to Mediterranean Markets

Access to regional market and support through soft landing vouchers in 5 Mediterranean countries 


Circular Regional Network

Access to the STAND Up! A Mediterranean network of green partners and investors 


SEKEM development foundation Network

Access to SEKEM’s network of entrepreneurs, professionals, funding companies, and international partners in sustainable development.


Who can apply?

The call, which will be addressed in 5 different versions according to the countries involved, is mainly addressed to:

  • young independent innovators and entrepreneurs (24-35 years old), 
  • students/ graduates from fashion, textile, and design universities working on innovative business projects, 
  • small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs),
  •  industries and organizations working on spin-off projects, from the textile and fashion sectors. 


What criteria must the proposed projects meet? 

The eligible projects should offer:

  • products, services, designs, business models, or technologies leading to sustainable and environmentally-friendly innovations in the industry. 
  • Should include the potential of scalability, combining innovation, technology, and economic viability. 
  • should be compliant with the environment and create a sustainable impact on the circular economy.


The program, organized in 4 different stages, will contribute to the growth of this ecosystem focusing on green business model development, early-stage incubation, access to markets, regional sectorial network, and access to finance in 5 Mediterranean countries (Egypt, Italy, Lebanon, Spain, and Tunisia).

The Growing innovation Program’s Timeline and Stages

The program starts in April 2021 and ends in January 2022. 

Stage 1: Outreach & Selection (February 15 – March 15, 2021)

Selecting 40 entrepreneurs in Egypt in the textile, fashion, and clothing industries.


 Capacity Building (March 2021 – May 2021)

The selected start-ups will go through a 2-month capacity-building program tailored to support them in developing their green business models, access to finance and market strategies.


Jury Day | Selection Of 4 Projects (June 2021)

Entrepreneurs will pitch in front of a selected jury that will select 4 projects who will continue in the next incubation phase. 

The pitching teams will be screened based on their value proposition, their innovation, the applicability of their technology, their green business model and scalability potential, their environmental and social impacts, their implementation capacity, and finally on their pitch effectiveness.


Stage 2: Incubation Support (June 2021 – November 2021)

The 4 selected teams will benefit from incubation support from SDF and get in-depth technical and business support. 

The incubation period will revolve around:  

-Supporting the projects in the implementation. 

-Facilitating linkages with experts, investors, and professionals 

– giving the teams access to support programs, market, and funding opportunities through SDF and its partners’ networks


Stage 3: Access to Finance (October 2021 – January 2022)

10 ventures will be selected based on specific criteria to benefit from:

Investment readiness training support and matchmaking opportunities with regional investors and funding programs.

Stage4: Access to Markets (October 2021 – January 2022)

4 ventures will be selected based on specific criteria to benefit from: 

Soft-landing vouchers in Mediterranean countries to explore growth opportunities and access to business, partnerships, and collaboration deals to expand their operations.  

Interested in joying this experience?

The call is now open till the 31st  of March 2021

Apply Now by filling this form

If you have any questions, please contact:

Project Manager:

Communication Manager: