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Welcome to Shahd H. Rashed's Tea Party Blog

Empowering Women 112 - WTL Edition

Earlier this year, I have got the opportunity to join a women network that is different than any other network circle! So, I have joined the “Women Take the Lead” network organized by the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Initiative (DEDI). Where they have chose 22 young women who are either project managers or people managers & experience leadership in their workplace (11 ladies from Egypt & 11 ladies from Denmark).

Last month, we have got the chance to meet for the first time here in Egypt & share our knowledge accordingly. And in the upcoming posts I will share my learnings & reflections accordingly.

So, our first day of the workshop started with a field visit to meet Rania Ayman the founder of Entreprenelle, hear a speech around the ecosystem accelerators from Nihal El Chami the head of program and marketing at Falak start-ups, and Sara Aziz the founder of Safe Kids. And below you will find the key notes from the 3 speeches & how some topics provoked the audience to interact even more discussing the gender-roles evolvement from one generation to the other.

Entreprenelle founded in 2015, aims to help women become entrepreneurs by providing then with the means to do so through unparalleled support. This is achieved through crash courses, community events, geographical expansion projects, co-developed projects, and Entreprenelle hub/Elle services.

Enterprenelle hub offers mentorship, consultancy, follow up, resources, recommendations for different events or exhibitions or workshops, tech-enabling support, branding services, market exposure, and investors connection. And Elle is an Egyptian social development & business impact organization that mainly aims to support women economically through education, training, and linking people to all possible entrepreneurship resources.

Entreprenelle successfully impacted more than 100,000 Egyptian women & generated more than 1,000 projects.

So, basically Entreprenelle is keen to raise the awareness, share the knowledge, and develop the economy for women through 3 main programs in Fashion, Crafts, and Food industries. All of these programs are subsidized, the partners pays most of the fees. They even created an online support community on Facebook group with more than 56,000 members that supports each-other online.

While founding Enterprenelle, Rania Ayman the founder, says that there was a challenge with the funds which started to get easier by time when the investors started to see the impact. And funding started to come through: partnerships, sponsorships, collaborations, tenders, donations, and governmental accelerators.

Rania added that the public shouldn't look into women as fun, but the public should take women seriously. As previously, the public thought that Rania is enjoying her free time only till she get married & then this whole Enterprenelle thing will fade! Which is neither the intention nor the true story as it turned out.

Last but not least, Rania confirmed that all women deserves a tap on the shoulder to support & motivation themselves till they receive the public support & encouragement.

Powered by the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation and its venture capital arm, Egypt Ventures. Falak Startups’ mission is to find and empower talented ambitious seed-stage tech startup founders to help them thrive in the region’s rapidly changing entrepreneurship landscape. Our sector-agnostic offering focuses on improving startups’ product-market fit; fine-tuning their business, operating and revenue models; growing their customer base; and raising follow-on investments.

Falak Startups arm entrepreneurs with the necessary tools, resources, and networks to develop their strategies and scale-up their businesses. The offering entails equity investment, growth hacking, networking, mentorship, training, and a wide variety of perks and benefits. After meeting the needed KPIs, founders are able to showcase their startups on the Virtual Stage platform, a tool for connecting with potential investors, policymakers, stakeholders, and partners. The on-going support is throughout the startups’ journey. Falak Startups is a constant advisor and advocate for all of the portfolio companies.

Falak Startups’ is offering an unrivaled ticket size of up to 2,000,000 EGP and provides the support startups need to gain momentum and accelerate their growth. Falak also supports its portfolio of startups in securing follow-on investments from venture capital firms, angel investors, and/or corporates.

Our startups operate from our fully-equipped state-of-the-art, 700m2 office, in the heart of Downtown Cairo, that meets all their office space needs.

Nihal explained that an incubator helps founders to develop their business model while taking no equity. Usually the incubators are powered & supported by either governments or embassies. While accelerators invests in the new ideas & take equity in the new company. And investors are individuals investing in start-ups as they do believe in the idea promoted. While the venture capital invests only in the well-established start-ups.

Nihal continued to elaborate that Falak start-ups has several programs to grow startups & offer early venture capital. So, they do focus on 1-2 start-ups annually to end up with the required funds to growth these start-ups.

Accordingly to Nihal, no more than 30% of the start-ups are funded by women & Yomna Emad (one of the attendees working as the head of experimentation & accelerator lab in the UNDP) added that this small percentage reflects the way the start-ups ecosystem operates which is hard for women to join due to discrimination, biases, education level, exposure, and culture.

The audience then added that the culture started to change when it comes to gender-roles such as in most families nowadays the mothers are growing their careers & fathers are starting to learn how to raise kids equally with the mothers. This mainly changes from one generation to the next.

The audience also added that multinationals tends to push corporate guidance & implement gender-quality polices or strategies from the global head-quarters view impacting the local markets as well. And this supports the cultural change & bridges the gap in supporting this. Simply put, this breaks the glass ceiling or the limits that we do set on ourselves.

Safe Kids is an Egyptian organization based in Cairo, aims to deliver psycho-social services in the field of child protection. It was founded in 2012, with the mission of empowering society to stand against child abuse and to promote gender equality. Safe Kids has an office, kindergarten, and dreams of having a school as well.

The objectives of our services lay on two main pillars namely, prevention and intervention.

The prevention - raise the awareness of sexual abuse & trauma - aspect encompasses awareness workshops covering a range of topics including, but not limited to, self-awareness, sexual and gender-based violence and bullying.

The intervention - enhance the quality of life for survivors - aspect involves the provision of one-to-one and group psychosocial counseling sessions.

The main aim of Safe Kids is to be the:

  • Voice to the ones with no voice

  • Hope to the broken

  • Light to the ones living in the darkness

  • Life for the ones who see that death is the solution

  • Freedom for the captivated and the ones think that they are lonely

Sara Aziz the founder is a certified psycho-social counsellor with a master's degree in psychotherapy, a specialized diploma and bachelor in counseling survivors of sexual abuse. She has an extensive experience of working with children, adolescents, and adults who have survived traumas related to violence and child sexual abuse. Sara deploys a range of evidence-based counseling techniques to support her counselees.

Sara Aziz explained that for the past 10 years they have worked to empower girls & women through preparing them to face bullying & sexual abuse. Safe Kids worked with the parents or caregivers, the kid or teens (3-18 years old), and developed the community as well.

Sara continued to elaborate that Safe kids created a generation that is self aware, empowered, and safe! Sara continued that Safe Kids offers several products: I'm Precious through 2 cartoon characters Seif & Salma mainly to encourage children to learn through knowing that they are precious. Safeelings which encourages +3 years children to interact with their parents spending quality time while communicating, expressing their emotions, learning emotional intelligence, and gender equality. Videos which educates the children & teen about abuse & how to stay safe. Puppet show that goes to birthday celebrations, nurseries, and schools to teach children & teens how to set boundaries to stay safe.

Sara even shared the statistics that showed that 93% of the sexual abuse happens within the same family. And the top reason of child sexual abuse internationally is pornography. So, the Egyptian government to deal with this created 2 hotlines to report any instances. 16000 for children & teens abuse or 15015 for women abuse.

Stay tuned for the upcoming articles from the WTL edition!



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