El OMDA Initiative: Entrepreneurship Program For Young Egyptians

To improve quality of life in rural Egyptian communities, the OMDA project is creating job opportunities via micro-distribution and access to health-focused products.

Launched initially in 2010 and financed by the Danone Ecosystem Fund and Danone Egypt, the OMDA program seeks to improve quality of life in rural Egyptian communities by providing access to a selection of healthy-focused products while creating jobs for micro-distributors and improving the income of small retailers. There are currently more than 160 OMDA projects distributing Danone products to around 18,000 retailers serving more than 3 million consumers.


In 2018, Danone Egypt and the National Bank of Egypt signed a Protocol of Cooperation to support small and medium enterprises. The Protocol helps finance OMDA project, providing young entrepreneurs with financial support to purchase equipped trucks to distribute Danone products.

The support of the National Bank of Egypt helps provide further opportunities for young Egyptians to act as local entrepreneurs. Henri de l’Epine, managing director for Danone North East Africa, added that the protocol strengthens the company’s strong commitment to develop micro and small enterprises as well as bring support to young Egyptian entrepreneurs. “At Danone, we have a defined set of long-term Goals for our company -- inspired by our ‘One Planet. One Health’ vision -- which contribute to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Through these goals, we commit amongst others to grow in an inclusive way, empowering our people and working with partners to create and share sustainable value. Our partnership with the National Bank of Egypt is thus an important milestone towards achieving these goals in Egypt,” added Henri de l’Epine. 

Yehia Abul Fotouh, vice chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Bank of Egypt, added: "The protocol emphasizes the bank’s strategic direction to support and develop small and medium enterprises, by providing the necessary funding for young Egyptians to start their own businesses, hence contributing to the country’s economic development.” 

He added that to ensure the speedy implementation of these projects, the National Bank of Egypt approached Danone due to its leading position in the dairy market and its OMDA project. “The OMDA project builds the capacity of these young entrepreneurs, providing them with the skills and tools necessary to ensure a sustainable income. It puts these Egyptian youths on the right path, with a clear marketing plan which enables them to implement their project and impact the national economy.” Abul Fotouh also declared that the bank’s direct and indirect finance portfolio for small and medium enterprises amounts to about EGP 43 billion, targeting 60,000 clients.