The Rise of Social Entrepreneurs Is Egypt’s Silent Revolution

Tuning in to news channels, browsing through social media sites, or engaging in a chit-chat with one of Egypt’s ever-so talkative taxi drivers can leave even the biggest optimist heavy-hearted. High illiteracy rates in Egypt’s primary and middle schools, blood-covered hospital beds shared by multiple patients, and increased suicide rates among men unable to provide for their families are tragically common and familiar headlines. While the core of our economic and social problems have long been recognized, very little has been done to address them.

Over the past decade, the social entrepreneurship scene has been growing tremendously. Be it in the fields of education, health, or urban development, more innovative youth have been taking matters into their own hands and establishing their social ventures. They recognize that charity is simply not sustainable, and revenue-generating businesses (for-profit or not-for-profit) are needed for a sustainable long-term impact.

Helm, Tahrir Academy, Educate-me, and Healthy Egyptians are few examples of such ventures. As different as their backgrounds and expertise can be, these entrepreneurs are motivated by a common goal: the desire to help the underserved and bring about social change. Another feature they all seem to share is that they are self-proclaimed “accidental entrepreneurs.” With the concept of social entrepreneurship being introduced fairly recently into the Egyptian business schools, it is no surprise that most of these entrepreneurs have very little to no training in entrepreneurship. Actually, the majority do not even have any formal business training. They are simply people from all walks of life who identified a problem that is not being addressed — or at least addressed ineffectively- and decided to do something about it. They became social entrepreneurs purely out of necessity and sheer coincidences.

(Source: The Huffington Post)

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