As part of Community Times’ effort to support women in business, we take a look at five female entrepreneurs who inspire us.
Amira Salah, Co-founder of Kherna
Social entrepreneur Amira Salah is the co-founder of Kherna, a social networking platform for organizations devoted to good causes. In 2011, Kherna won the World Summit Youth Award for fighting poverty, hunger and disease.” Conceived through a contest by Nahdet El Mahrousa, Kherna combines charity and development work with social media, providing NGOs with affordable communication channels as well as a platform for networking.
Amani El Tunsi, CEO & Founder of Banatwbass
In a country where women struggle with taboos everyday, Amani El Tunsi’s platform Banat wa Bas creates an important space for dialogue. Banat wa Bas helps Egyptian women discuss issues like marriage, spinsterhood, and sexual harassment with their network of peers.
An Ashoka fellow, El Tunsi launched the platform in 2008 to provide women with the knowledge and resources to gain control over their lives. The platform includes a website, a radio station, a rehabilitation center, a publishing house, and a media and communications program to prepare women to enter the workforce.
Yasmine Helal, Founder of Educate-me
Former pro-basketball player and engineer Yasmine Helal founded Educate-Me in 2010. Since then, the grassroots initiative-turned-social business has grown exponentially, providing more than 700 scholarships for children to access formal education in Egypt. This year, the organization was a semi-finalist at the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Competition for social entrepreneur startups. Its community center in Giza, houses 17 members and over 70 volunteers who are attempting to transform the educational model by placing skills and values over knowledge and repetition.
Nira, Heba & Sherine Shunbo, Founders of Four Fat Ladies
In a world obsessed with everything thin, the Shunbo sisters have found a way to change our perception of fat with their bakery startup The Four Fat Ladies. Instead of shying away from it, the ladies have faced head-on all of the negative ideas we associate with fat, using the taboo to make a statement about positive body image.
The Four Fat Ladies, which started out with family recipes cooked in an apartment, has since become one of the trendiest go-to places for dessert in Cairo. After delivering their signature cakes to homes across the city for a season, the trio opened their first store in Zamalek earlier this year. Last summer, they expanded operations and opened a branch in the North Coast, bringing their baked goodies to Egypt’s top summer destination.
Rasha Abo Elsoud, Founder of The Workshops and the Women Entrepreneurs of Egypt network
A serial social entrepreneur, Rasha Abo Elsoud left a corporate career to become a writer, entrepreneur, and mother of two. The founder of The Workshops, MAKTABY and Women Entrepreneurs of Egypt aspires to help other women become entrepreneurs and to develop their skills.
Abo Elsoud created Women Entrepreneurs of Egypt network, coaching women through one-on-one sessions on business and soft skills. Her web platform, The Workshops, is a directory of workshops in Cairo, Giza, Alexandria and El Monofiyya, while MAKTABY connects freelancers with companies.
Abo Elsoud is also a published author and a motivational public speaker, demonstrating an inspiring ability to multi-task.