Entrepreneurs in Egypt: Sara Khan
Young entrepreneurs in Egypt are part of a new wave of self-employment sweeping the nation, and Mostafa Shahat writes about them.
Entrepreneurship in Egypt has played an important role in reducing youth unemployment, whether by helping young people who have entrepreneurial ideas with investment and/or grants or establishing social enterprises with explicit missions to reduce the Egyptian youth unemployment rate, which represents 23.6% of the total population, or twenty-one million people.
The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) has reported that the youth unemployment rate in 2015 was 26.3%, which should be telling social entrepreneurs and changemakers that more entrepreneurial ideas are needed to reduce the unemployment rate.
Sara Khan is a social entrepreneur who believes that her efforts and contributions, combined with her rich experiences in the training field, will help the Egyptian community to reduce the unemployment rate.
Sara is Egyptian but lived part of her life abroad in India, studied law at Ain Shams University and pursued her postgraduate degree at Quality of Education at New Delhi University in India in 2012.
Sara started her professional career in the training field in 2009, when she was a professional business skills and linguistics trainer at EDU Egypt, or ‘Education Development in Universities of Egypt’.
The project is funded by Ministry of Telecommunications and empowers and inspires Egyptian university students to join and compete in the international business process outsourcing industry. In five years, Sara delivered trainings to more than 800 university students per year in more than eight universities all over Egypt.
In 2013, Sara joined G.O.L for two years as soft skills and business skills trainer, where she delivered training to more than 1,000 students. She was one of the few trainers helping to develop the communication and presentation skills of children between the ages of 10 and 17. She was even invited to the international school in Cairo, Egypt to deliver a training.
‘It was a great experience’, says Sara. ‘I think, it’s much easier to change kids’ attitudes and behaviors than adolescents. When these kids grow up, they will be able to communicate effectively and present themselves in a good manner, and I am sure they will be either perfect employees or great entrepreneurs’.
Sara was invited by Istanbul University to deliver business skills training to more than 300 students. She was also asked by New Delhi University in India to deliver business skills training to a group of the university students and invited to the international day of people with disabilities to deliver a motivational speech to 1,000 people who have movement disabilities. She told them not to give up and to continue fighting for their dreams.
Sara decided that her contributions to solve the unemployment problem in Egypt should be done at an organisational level. She founded the Sara Khan Academy in 2015 where she is conducting several professional trainings in soft skills, business skills, business English, marketing and social media for university students and fresh graduates.
Sara is currently recruiting students to travel to India for a one-month internship in their field, and she is planning to build partnerships with companies in different industries to nominate students. Therefore, the academy will not only offer training but also job matching and placement. In its first year, the academy has trained more than 600 students and fresh graduates.
‘The international experiences will help the students to unleash their skills and expand their horizons’, says Sara. ‘So later, finding jobs will not be an issue anymore for them. They will be qualified and ready for the job market’.
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@example.com and check out his other blog A Syrian’s Success in Egypt and more from his Entrepreneurs in Egypt series.
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