Entrepreneurship in Egypt is booming. Above all else, the country’s startup scene has young entrepreneurs to thank for this prosperity. Not only are these individuals paving the way towards a more innovative future, but they are also effecting change at both the economic and social levels. By addressing issues with healthcare access, public transportation, and more, these individuals are among the biggest movers and shakers in Egypt:
Here are a few of the most innovative young entrepreneurs in Egypt and the startups that have made them famous:
Rania Ayman (Entreprenelle)
At age 23, Ayman burst onto Egypt’s entrepreneurial scene with the founding of her startup, Entreprenelle, in 2015. A social enterprise, the company has helped members of its target demographic improve their lives economically.
To this end, Entreprenelle facilitates connections between users and the resources that they need for success. From education to life advice, the site features modules and articles on a wide array of topics. Over 250,000 subscribers have connected with Entreprenelle’s services online and even more have attended its community events.
Outside of her work on Entreprenelle, Ayman has held over 70 workshops and other prominent events in several Egyptian governorates. Through these outlets, she has strived to level the startup playing field for all. For her groundbreaking work, Ayman received the Injaz entrepreneurship prize.
Moody Boles (Imaginators)
One of Egypt’s youngest entrepreneurs, Boles was only 16 when he founded Imaginators, a platform that allows users to create unique presentations. After debuting the startup at the RiseUp Summit 2016, Boles quickly built a base of clients from across two dozen countries. Not long after, Imaginators took home the top prize at Techne Summit’s MO4 media startup competition.
Boles has been able to achieve such success with his company because he addressed a pressing issue among creative professionals: artists and designers with little technical know-how were unable to develop presentations that highlighted their work. Imaginators makes it easy for these individuals to design interactive presentations by offering a number of pre-set creation tools. Users can drag and drop content, add animations, develop slides, and more when compiling their portfolios into presentations.
Mostafa Kandil, Mahmoud Nouh, and Ahmed Sabbah (Swvl)
The team behind Swvl, a public transportation startup, became known across Egypt in 2017, after receiving a landmark investment of $500,000 from ride-sharing company Careem. Kandil, Nouh, and Sabbah founded their startup only months before this investment and quickly found success in the Egyptian market.
Serving users in both Cairo and Alexandria, Swvl customizes travel routes for its users based on the location of nearby public transport stations and wait times. Travelers can also purchase boarding passes at a flat rate and locate their buses through the startup’s mobile app.
Within a year of founding Swvl, Kandil, Nouh, and Sabbah were helping locals find 100,000 rides each month. Most recently, the team sought to branch out into other Arab markets, including Saudi Arabia.
Raymond Lakah (Ya Doctory)
Lakah became an entrepreneur in his teens, when he established a unique healthcare startup for Egyptian patients. Recognizing a lack of home healthcare options for those living with chronic conditions, he founded Ya Doctory as a way of helping patients access better care from the comfort of their own homes.
Lakah’s modern take on healthcare leverages technology to facilitate more effective recovery experiences for patients. Instead of traveling to and from the hospital, Ya Doctory allows users to find doctors and monitor their conditions at home.
The startup features a diverse range of services, from in-home nursing and lab testing to vaccinations and second opinions. Ya Doctory even offers unique Care+ packages for those seeking more holistic treatment. Since its inception, the startup has served more than 500 patients with conditions in 10 medical specialties.
Mohamed Tawakol (Spare)
In 2016, Tawakol and his co-founder established Spare as a way of providing Egyptians with a broader array of payment methods. With their startup, the entrepreneurs are hoping to drive innovation in a country where there are millions more smartphone users than credit card users.
Spare creates a “smarter way to pay” for consumers by allowing them to go cash-free when making purchases. Users simply purchase credits that they can spend at the startup’s partner stores. Through Spare, consumers can also earn rewards from their preferred local retailers. What’s more, the startup offers all of these benefits without requiring its users to have bank accounts of credit cards.
Riad Khawam, Shivani Pillai, Fadi Tawfik, and Hashem Abdou (Zip and Flip)
This group of teens won two awards at the Injaz Arab competition, where they debuted their groundbreaking startup, Zip and Flip. Established in 2017, the company is known for its unique take on the traditional beach bag, which is a staple among those who go to the beach during scorching Egyptian summers. Zip and Flip’s flagship product is a beach bag that turns into a towel when unzipped.
The co-founders work with local producers to hand make each beach bag out of premium textiles and 100 percent Egyptian cotton, which is waterproof and perfect for a beach environment. This product gives local consumers a stylish, yet functional, alternative to regular beach bags.