Entrepreneurs in Egypt: Wissam Saleh
Young entrepreneurs in Egypt are part of a new wave of self-employment sweeping the nation, and Mostafa Shahat writes about them.
There are several ways to create jobs for young people. You can support big entities to grow more and expand their projects so they can hire more young people, or support those with entrepreneurial ideas with mini-grants. Each way directly supports economic development. The ability to create jobs is one of the main indicators that shows how strong a country’s economy is.
Entrepreneurship is an opportunity for developing countries to grow and overcome their community challenges. Nowadays, there are several countries that prefer investing in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to supporting big well established entities. By doing so, the big investments are divided into small amounts to support several SMEs in several fields which can have a quick impact on the economic development.
After the Egyptian revolution in 2011, many young people lost their jobs because of political and economical challenges, and many companies closed their offices in Egypt. As a result, there was a tremendous change in the job market in Egypt, and companies couldn’t afford to hire full time employees, only part-timers.
Therefore, the freelancing concept gained popularity, and young people started searching for the most convenient and suitable jobs through the internet with high returns. Nowadays, there are several international websites that connect employers with talented young people.
Wissam Saleh is one of the very few social entrepreneurs who started a freelancing website. Named Mostaqqel, it connects young talented people in North African countries with employers in different fields.
Wissam received his bachelor’s degree from The American University in Cairo (AUC), where he focused on Construction Management. He then perused his master’s degree in economics.
‘Freelancing in the Middle East countries is a major player in shaping their job market futures in the next five years’, says Wissam. ‘Mostaqqel and Worc are helping Middle Eastern talented young people to find jobs in their desired fields’.
Besides Mostaqqel, Wissam founded another social enterprise named Worcbox that supports small and medium businesses and entrepreneurs with the tools they need to flourish, succeed and showcase their exceptional abilities.
Worcbox’s products are mainly mobiles apps. The first product is a financial app with a cash flow forecasting tool built exclusively for the iPad. The second product is a mobile app that helps people contract with local partners and manage all the payment transactions.
Wissam won the business plan competition at AUC and participated in a Social Entrepreneurship Training in I3P, the Innovative Enterprise Incubator of the Politecnico di Torino in Italy, where he attended several intensive classes and lectures on business modeling, secondary research, primary analysis, online marketing and pitching.
Wissam used to deliver business planning training for entrepreneurs with G.O.L (Goal Oriented Learners), a youth community that helps youth to become qualified candidates for the job market by offering career development and soft skills and social entrepreneurship trainings in a monthly basis at the IRC (Information Resource Center) at the US Embassy in Cairo.
Moreover, Wissam knows that being an entrepreneur is very challenging, but he is enjoying it and feels grateful for being an entrepreneur. Since he was a student, he decided that his path will always be entrepreneurship.
Article submitted by Mostafa Shahat, the volunteer responsible for Arabic guest bloggers in the MENA region and an entrepreneur who has established one of the most successful youth communities in Egypt, Goal Oriented Learners. Mostafa studied social entrepreneurship in USA and is currently the Middle East & North Africa representative at StudySearch (Nigeria) and the Egypt representative for All Events in City (India). Mostafa is also a reporter at Nudge Sustainability Hub. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out his other blog A Syrian’s Success in Egypt and more from his Entrepreneurs in Egypt series.
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