Mostafa Shahat has been working in entrepreneurship field for 7 years. He founded a training company called G.O.L (Goal Oriented Learners). G.O.L is improving Egyptian youth employment’s skills to be qualified candidates for the job market by offering trainings on entrepreneurship, professional trainings (marketing, sales..ect).Mostafa succeed to deliver G.O.L trainings to 30,000 entrepreneurs & graduates in Egypt.Mostafa interviewed over 80 entrepreneurs from all over the Middle East and published their success stories in international entrepreneurship magazines.Mostafa succeed to build partnerships with several European organizations to organize funded Entrepreneurship programs by National European Agencies in Italy, Bulgaria and Netherlands. Here he gives us a collection of some very interesting stories from international entreneurship.
Entrepreneurs in Egypt: Ahmed Negm
Cairo is the biggest city in Egypt, with over than twenty million people, which makes it the largest city in Africa and the middle East, and the 5th largest metropolitan area on earth.The increase in the population, without a transportation infrastructure, makes the traffic jams in Cairo terrible and unbearable, especially in the rush hour where there are over than two million cars in the street. There are many consequences for the traffic congestion, not only pollution as cars produce different harmful gases, but it blocks ambulances, kills pedestrians and causes horrible pile-ups, and it all leads to either trade insults, smoke cigarettes and waste much of the productive time.Transportation infrastructure, doesn’t only mean building new roads, but maintaining the old ones, creating traffic light system, and ensuring the safety in the streets. Many entrepreneurs have tried to solve the traffic jam problem by using mobile apps, but they are only helping to avoid crowded streets, and the real problem that Cairo is facing in the number of the cars that are moving in 236,000 miles of roads.
Carpooling succeeded to solve the traffic jam problem in many crowded cities all over the world, and it’s the time for Cairo to use carpooling which is the most environmental friendly and sustainable way to travel, It reduces each one travel’s costs, stress of driving and importantly the number of cars in the street.Despite carpooling in Cairo seemed for many of the Egyptian entrepreneurs impossible because of the political instability and the safety issue in the street but Ahmed Negm with his sister Samira Negm succeeded to found in 2014 Raye7 means in English “Going”, the first carpooling mobile app in Egypt.
Ahmed studied at the Faculty of Engineering at The Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport in Egypt (AASTMT), since young age, Ahmed used to travel all over the world for many reasons, between conferences, trainings to internships, he travelled to more than twenty countries.Ahmed lived in Tokyo, Japan for six months as he was a Solar Cells intern at Ulvac Technologies, ‘I used hitchhiking many times in Tokyo and I have travelled over than 2,000 kilometers by carpooling’ says Ahmed.Ahmed with his team faced many challenges to found Raye7 in Egypt, but the most challenging and complicated obstacle they faced was how to ensure safety with the political and economical instability in Egypt.‘We had to try the mobile app in small communities to build trust’ says Ahmed ‘that’s why we built partnerships with companies and universities so their employees and students can use Raye7’s mobile app’.Ahmed with his team usually update Raye7’s mobile app to make it as friendly and easy as possible, during the last year, Ahmed has joined many international competitions inside and outside Egypt, two of the most well known mobile app competitions that Ahmed with his team won the 2nd place in, named Demo Africa in Egypt, and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Ahmed is planning to use Raye7 mobile app in big major events in Cairo, where all attendees can come together instead each of them come alone in his/her car, as well they plan to use Raye7 in multinational companies around Egypt, they are very keen to try the app in small communities, where people already trust each other.Ahmed used to worked as Experience Manager at RiseUp Summit, one of the biggest entrepreneurship summit in North Africa countries that is conducted in yearly basis, and he used to organize leadership conferences and exchange programs in many of the African countries with AIESEC.
Entrepreneurs in Egypt: Muhammed Nagi
After the Egyptian revolution in 2011, the co-working space concept started to flourish. Young Egyptian youth started launching different initiatives to tackle many social problems. The revolution increased their ownership over their communities.The co-working spaces have supported many initiatives that allowed organizations and entrepreneurs to connect and work together for a greater impact. AlMaqarr (means The Headquarters) was one of the pioneers that started actively supporting NGOs, initiatives and student organizations by hosting them in their premises and offering mentorship, training and network, so they can operate effectively and grow to tackle community’s problems.Muhammad Nagi, AlMaqarr founder and MD, studied English Languages and Literature at The University of Ain Shams. Mohamed is an entrepreneur since he was a student. He co-founded one of the most active student organizations in his university called React. React focused on changing the students’ mentality and attitude towards their own lives by delivering employment skills training, as well as human development programs.“I believe that each one of us has a hidden treasure that needs to be discovered, that’s why I always wanted to help students not to underestimate their power” says Muhammad.Muhammad with his team faced many issues while running their activities. The lack of mentorship, facilities, networks and premises were the main issues they faced. In 2012, Muhammad with his team had the idea of starting a co-working space, which was designed to suit entrepreneurs and community leaders needs and become a real productive and creative environment where all the community players can interact and collaborate together.
“The idea of the co-working spaces was new. We were very excited to start AlMaqarr and all of us sacrificed to make it happen” says Muhammad.Nagi was a professional Karate player. He was representing Egypt in many global competitions. He used to work with several local organizations that mainly focused on charity projects to support marginalized areas in greater Cairo. Because he is still connected to sports, Muhammad is currently working as a Fitness Coach at Fitiology where he is instructing and coaching groups/individuals through fitness programs.AlMaqaar is supporting over 700 entrepreneurs with more than 300 project ideas. They have been selected as the best co-working space in Egypt and received local and international recognitions for their efforts.Muhammad is a true believer in collaboration and coworking, and how working together can build exceptions. With his team, he launched a great engaging experience that can be delivered to help reinforcing the networking concept. They launched ElRe7la (means The Journey); a social enterprise that provides extraordinary out-of-office experience for change-makers to widen their horizons and change their lifestyle to help them be more productive.They have organized over 6 entrepreneurial camps in different destinations in Egypt, and invited more than 700 change-makers from all over Egypt.Nagi has been selected by Cairosecene as one of the 25 entrepreneurs who are under 25 years old. He is very grateful for the successes that he has made but his passion towards entrepreneurship never ends.
Mohamed believes that entrepreneurship is the only way out for Egypt to solve the major economic and social challenges. Co-working spaces are one of the main tools that could help young Egyptians with the resources and networks that they need to reform their communities and build their ventures.Even though the Co-working spaces concept was just introduced to the Egyptian entrepreneurial ecosystem, but we saw lots of great examples of entrepreneurs who shaped the community with their great entrepreneurial ideas and still willing to sacrifices to make greater impact.