Within the wide square of the Greek Campus, tens of young women gathered to speak about their dream projects. Each one competed to garner as much votes as possible to allow her to pursue that dream. With passion and enthusiasm, each entrepreneur knows for sure she’s only one step away from embarking on her dream journey.
The Empowering Egyptian Young Women Entrepreneurs (YWED-P) competition aimed to provide winning entrepreneurs the required training to be able to compete in the market, through enriching their creativity skills and teaching them how to create their own unique identity.
The competition is a part of World of Woman Conference and was organised by Hudson Egypt, a training, conferences and leadership retreats company.
Out of 1,800 applicants, only 143 managed to reach the final stage of the competition. At this phase, they attempted to convince the judges and as much people as possible to give them their votes in order to win. The top 100 projects will be given 13 different training courses for almost a year, afterwards they would be introduced to investors that would be willing to give them the proper fund to establish their projects on the ground.
The competition focused on having only female entrepreneurs mainly from Upper Egypt and governorates other than Cairo and Alexandria.
“Women generally face much more difficulties in our country than men and their chances to follow their dream and establish their own businesses are limited,” said Abd El-Aziz Salah El-Din, head of the conference and Hudson Egypt’s Executive Manager.
Salah El-Din stated that the conference is all about women and their capabilities in Egypt, adding that the judges preferred women applicants from Upper Egypt as they face more difficulties and rarer chances than the ones living in large cities like Cairo and Alexandria.
The presented projects differed in goals, types and forms, yet all shared the goal of contributing to a better country and creating job opportunities for youth.
“Your life” is a project from Al-Mansoura to establish a monitored kindergarten that would allow parents to watch their kids through a mobile application connected to surveillance cameras at the place. “Lots of parents worry about the treatment their child is receiving at a place they haven’t spent much time in and with people they don’t know, especially if the child is not talking yet,” said Sara, the owner. “My project allows them to see how we take care of the child anytime they want without us knowing when they’re watching.”
The kindergarten will also inform the children about sexual harassment and how to protect themselves from harassment easily. “This issue irritates most of moms now and we’re planning to solve it,” Sara added. “Plus, a bus with a nanny will be available to transport the children from and to their homes. Parents will also receive a text message when they reach safely.”
“Green Roads” is another project by Aya Salah that aims to make use of the dessert highway roads that connect between governorates, like the Cairo-Alexandria Road, by planting them with trees that would combat the heat and the lack of water.
A third entrepreneur explained her dream project, which she named “Venus”, saying how she makes hand-made accessories that describe the heritage and culture of Egypt. The accessories reflect the tradition of women in each governorate in Egypt from Luxor to Alexandria.
“Koshk Fetar” (Breakfast Kiosk) is another dream by a young girl that always wanted to provide a healthy alternative to unhealthy junk food for low prices. The menu includes homemade soups, salads and grilled food for prices that would range from EGP 5-25.
The event included public figures who talked about their path and journey ever since they started as small entrepreneurs to their current position.
One of the speakers was Farida Temraz, an Egyptian designer and the owner and founder of Temraza Haute Couture for women. Temraz spoke about her journey in the fashion field and the effort it took her from being an unknown artist to being one of the most known designers at Egypt.
“We are one of the countries that have the highest number of youth,” Temraz told Daily News Egypt. “And you can clearly see in their eyes that they always want to do something, and I would love to share my experience to people I can help.”
Temraz believes that sharing the difficulties she faced at the beginning of her life might help other girls to keep fighting and follow their dreams with passion. “Whenever I’m down, I watch the movies about Versace and Coco Chanel. When I see how fashion was their way out of all the troubles they faced in their lives, I believe that I can do the same,” she concluded.