During the last year, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Cairo has organized multiple interdisciplinary seminars for its alumni. Besides lectures in specific academic fields relevant for the alumni’s background, the DAAD offered general events that discussed current challenges.
With high numbers of youth unemployment looming over Egypt’s economy, entrepreneurship has become a highly praised solution to the challenge. Therefore, on June 2, 2016, the DAAD Cairo office invited five young entrepreneurs from different fields and five experts from universities and start-up incubators to talk about “Entrepreneurial Thinking”. The evening was moderated by DAAD-alumnus Dr. Khaled Ismail, Chairman of Kiangel and an introductory speech was given by Mr. Sherif El-Diwany, Founder and CEO of “Solutions x Design”.
Around 65 alumni, of which many were specialized in the fields of entrepreneurship, attended the event and joined in a fruitful discussion. Remarkably, all of the young entrepreneurs who presented their successful start-ups are graduates from the German school in Cairo DEO (Deutsche Evangelische Oberschule). They praised their education towards critical thinking as a main pillar for not accepting status quo in their respective fields, which led them to start something on their own. All experts agreed that entrepreneurship in Egypt is on the rise, but emphasized the importance of strengthening entrepreneurial thinking in universities through seminars, start-up hubs and incubators, in Cairo and beyond. They also pointed out the importance of basic economic knowledge for the entrepreneurial trend to persevere, as well as the need to establish structures of further support for young entrepreneurs at university level.
The attending start-up representatives were Amira Azzouz (Foustany), Hossam Taher (Cairo Sitters), Sherif Hosny (Schaduf), Mostafa Mubarak (Solera) and Amir Allam (Elmenues).
The DAAD Cairo office is planning to organize further seminars in the future, to discuss similar topics in cooperation with Egyptian universities to provide its alumni’s with insights into currently relevant issues in Egypt.