Entrepreneurs in Egypt: Ahmed Shuayb
Young entrepreneurs in Egypt are part of a new wave of self-employment sweeping the nation, and Mostafa Shahat writes about them.
After the Egyptian revolution, young people were empowered and, when they discovered that they could play an important role in society, that their contributions to communities mattered, they realised they could impact and change their world with their entrepreneurial ideas.
Ahmed Shuayb is one of the unique and active entrepreneurs who, at very early age, has already founded six social enterprises, varying in mission from education to the environment.
Ahmed is a senior student at the Faculty of Management, Major Innovation and Accounting at the German University in Cairo, or GUC. He has a passion for social entrepreneurship, believing that the young people who made the revolution are capable of facing and solving communities’ problems through entrepreneurship.
In 2011, Ahmed founded Kelma Trends, which means ‘Word Trends’. The social enterprise sells products like cups, notebooks, pens, t-shirts and laptops cover with creative positive-message designs, like ‘B+ “Be Positive” it’s not my blood type, it’s my way of life’. In less than six months, Kelma Trends sold more than 500 products.
‘After the revolution, there were many social problems in the community that community leaders, activists and entrepreneurs have to work on’, says Ahmed. ‘We thought that sending positive messages could help the community to be empowered and get inspired’.
In 2013, Ahmed founded Ro’ya, which means in ‘vision’. It is a social enterprise that helps high school students find their passion and achieve their dreams.
Ro’ya is divided into three stages: first, providing soft skills training to upskill students; second, conducting assessments to discover students’ strengths and weaknesses; third, university faculty and subject simulation to find students’ desired fields, followed by job shadowing.
‘The pilot succeeded with five high school students, but we had to postpone to see how to improve the trainings’ and assessments’ quality’, says Ahmed.
In 2014, Ahmed founded Gymawy, which means ‘My Gym’. It is a mobile app based on the gamification concept. Gymawy provides different daily exercises and get players points every time they confirm doing a certain exercise. These points can be exchanged for actual rewards, including free healthy meals in restaurants or free membership in a gym.
‘The app was a new concept, and once the app was lunched, we had 1,400 users’, says Ahmed.
In 2015, Ahmed and his partner have founded Maculinea, which is an IT solutions and services provider that supports early-stage tech entrepreneurs by creating their websites, apps and web applications. Maculinea is currently running three different major projects.
Within the same year, Ahmed co-founded Qumra, a media provider and events company that supports musicians and small bands with creative video clips, connections to producers and an in-house recording studio with affordable prices.
In 2016, Ahmed founded Gama, a social enterprise that converts human waste into fertilizers and bio gas. Ahmed, along with his team, won first place at the Hult prize competition at GUC, and they were selected to join the global competition in San Francisco, US.
‘The award has motivated us to continue working on the project, and we are currently working with the Ministry of Agriculture in Egypt, where we do more research and development’, says Ahmed.
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 [email protected] and check out his other blog A Syrian’s Success in Egypt and more from his Entrepreneurs in Egypt series.
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