Reading this month’s Monocle magazine, I was pleased to see the inclusion of ten of Egypt’s most promising entrepreneurs, building a bright future and making opportunities for themselves in Egypt after Mubarak’s downfall.
We’d like to pay tribute to these bright stars too. Below are our five favourites. What inspiring stories have you heard from the land of the pharaohs?
1. Dina El-Khachab and Heba El-Gabaly: Eklego Design
Striving for something a little different, Eklego is a design firm working with more than 60 Egyptian manufacturers, integrating local materials and traditional design to create distinctive products.
2. Hossam El-Sherbiny and Eric Monkaba: Qasr Twenty
A cooking school specialising in Egyptian cuisine, this isn’t the first time that we’ve heard of Qasr Twenty. And, for a company that opened just as the crowds, teargas and military vehicles poured into Tahrir Square, they are thriving. Many of our passengers have enjoyed Egyptian cuisine, now it’s time for Egypt to really celebrate its cooking traditions.
3. Jalal Abu-Gazeleh – Gourmet Egypt
Specialising in supply and delivery of high-quality ingredients, Gourmet Egypt is a national brand bringing the taste of exotic imported foods like wagyu beef and cantuccini astuccio to Egyptian tables. Starting with just one delivery man with an ice box tied to the back of his motorbike, Gourmet Egypt now employs 220 people and serves over 20 000 customers.
4. Gamal El-Din Sadek – Bey2ollak
As anyone who has driven – or been driven – in Cairo will know, traffic congestion is an ongoing problem. With some of the most congested streets in the world, and a driving community that doesn’t always pay the closest attention to rules that many of us consider mandatory, Cairo can be a challenging city to navigate. Enter Gamal El-Din Sadek, a 23-year-old who, along with his four cousins, has started a mobile app. that collates data from tens of thousands of users and builds a real-time image of the traffic. Launched last year with no marketing budget, reports are that 5000 members signed up within a few hours, and today the app. has more than 80 000 users all contributing to a dynamic traffic news resource. It’s also now partnered with Vodafone, and some investors believe it could go global before long.
5. Hind Wassef and Nadia Wassef – Diwan
In a land where the average person reads a quarter of a page of a novel each year, many advised Hind Wassef and her sister Nadia that Cairo was perhaps not the best place for a boutique bookstore and coffeeshop.But why not? With a model that had already been proven in the rest of the world, evidently all Cairo needed was someone brave enough to give it a shot. Nine years later, Diwan has nine branches and has inspired a host of copycats around the country.
The original post, entitled ‘Future Makers’ can be read here.