We peeked into TIEC's first 'Heya Ra2eda' programme for female entrepreneurs in Egypt, and here's 14 startups we discovered.
According to Dubai-based data startup Magnitt, only 12 percent of the region's top startups are founded by women. If entrepreneurship is the new road to empower the Arab world's youth to effect change in their own terms, what does that mean for the solutions these pioneers are creating?
Setting off to reshape that landscape, Egypt's Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) launched a pilot phase of their programme 'Heya Ra2eda' (she is an entrepreneur) to empower women entrepreneurs that have businesses in, or powered by, Information and Communication Technologies. The programme reaches out women entrepreneurs that have a skill set that would allow them to start their own projects or startups, focusing more on developing the logic of business development rather than a detailed theoretic approach.
The main target is to induce the basic business development functions as a secondary practical skill set allowing them to efficiently run a successful operation, eliminating a lot of waste on resources and opportunities. The programme is powered by the world-renown curricula of ILO's Start & Improve Your Business, Facebook's #SheMeansBusiness, as well as other local partners, and hosted two Cairo-based migrant entrepreneurs, who had won a pitching competition held by Startups Without Borders.
"It is breathtaking to see how the participating women come from various fields like education, crafts, medicine have ideas that develop their sectors and follow through to customise them based on their vast experience to fit the Egyptian society and provide them through ICT platforms such as e-commerce or VR," says Rasha Tantawy, TIEC's Entrepreneurship Support Head.
The programme focuses on giving the women entrepreneurs a practical push to either start their businesses right away or if they need further assistance, helping with the onboarding process onto other entrepreneurship programmes within TIEC and the ecosystem at large.
"The participants' resilience, adaptability and eagerness to learn are the driving factors that keep us at TIEC constantly develop and scale this program throughout all of Egypt's Governorates," said Mohamed Elmahdy, Entrepreneurship Support, TIEC.
1. Sara S. Ismail: Her startup, Elnabash, is a online platform to separate garbage from the upsource by providing a bin to the clients in exchange of purchase vouchers to help people dispose of waste properly. "We encourage costomers to use our service by paying for their waste and targeting them directly," says Ismail.
2. Helianor Rafat: Hailing from Jordan, Rafat is the mastermind behind the Helia Mix Shop, which produces healthy food products that are free from trans-fats, sugar and preservatives. "We offer our products online and through supermarkets," she says.
3. Mona Rezq: Her startup, OMVR, is developing VR games to help architecture students and tourists to explore heritage sites of Egypt and collect documented information with an enhanced interactive experience.
4. Samah ElZein: The Syrian entrepreneur created Aya, a natural soap and skincare products startup using no synthetic components. "Aya helps protect consumers from harmful chemicals and substances; It can be used in the treatment of skin problems such as acne, eczema and other skin diseases; and it has a factor in keeping the skin freshness and moisturise it," ElZein says, adding that the company commercialises its products through events, expanding to an online store.
5. Abeer Deif: Her unique platform, HAWA AFTER 40, Helps women after 40 find jobs. "Women after 40 are suffering because companies don't offer jobs for them due to their age, output and salaries expectations. So Hawa after 40 gives them a chance to work and offer their services as freelancers," she explains.
6. Samah Soliman: With an ambitious objective, Soliman is building the ICRP (International Centre for Research Production), a market research company helping entrepreneurs and SMEs run and answer all their research questions - capitalising on their knowledge of the local market, and more competitive prices than foreign or multinational firms.
7. Ehsan Sayed: The founder of TechMakers, Sayed is developing an online platform to help preparatory school students who want to learn programming and create tech products such as a mobile apps, website or games through live sessions online.
8. Dina Hosny: Taking on health care, the entrepreneur launched Reporty, a startup that offers online "second opinion radiology reports" for problematic cases referred from physicians to guide in treatment by specialised expert radiologists.
9. Amira Fouad: Setting off to create content "from kids to kids," Fouad launched Kids Buzz, a startup that develops local video content for kids, aiming to provide good quality Arabic content for children aged 6-12 years old, who will presenting the information through videos themselves.
10. Nihal Emam: Her startup, K.E.E.P is a kids Education and Entertainment Platform for services needed for Mums in Cairo's satellite city of Sheikh Zayed and 6th of October.
11. Basma Shaalan: Developing a "making space for kids," her startup, Bareeq, aims to developing children's skills in electronics and robotics so that they can make more projects and participate in global competitions.
12. Rania Ahmed: Her startup, Tadrebaty, is an online platform that helps parents search and book sport trainings and activities for their kids, using rating and reviews for users to better select the services.
13. Mahetab Amin: Her medical centre, SHE, focuses on skin heath and wellness, offering complete medical programmes for women with long standing diseases as acne and psoriasis through an integrated medical team.
14. Noha Said: The founder of Vera Advisory, Said aims to develop entrepreneurial training amongst teenagers, through a consulting platform to "cultivate dreams, innovations and entrepreneurship in teenagers and help them discover their potential," she says.
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