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By Nadine Salib

Nahdet el Mahrousa (NM) is an innovative social enterprise that seeks to have a positive impact on Egypt’s cultural, economic, and social development by mobilizing and engaging the Egyptian youth. Established in 2006, Nahdet el Mahrousa was the first social enterprise incubator in the Middle East, and one of the few in the world that incubates young social entrepreneurs at the conception or “idea” stage.

Over the past few years, NM has supported the creation of an ecosystem to foster social entrepreneurship in Egypt and to support the scaling-up of social enterprises. NM’s main program, the “Incubator of Early Stage Innovative Social Enterprises,” empowers high-potential social entrepreneurs to act as catalysts for social innovation in Egypt. The incubator supports social entrepreneurs by providing capacity-building, technical support, access to networks, and seed funding. With the support of NM and its partners as a basis for further growth, Egyptian social entrepreneurs are able to build successful and sustainable solutions to address the challenges in question.

Since 2003, NM has incubated over 40 social enterprises—in domains such as education, scientific innovation, youth development, healthcare, arts and culture—all of which currently impact more than 50,000 individuals in Egypt each year.

NM has successfully partnered with a long list of organizations to support its social entrepreneurs. Those partnerships have varied from organizational level; collaborations supporting specific social entrepreneurs; and partnerships assisting in scaling up and ensuring sustainability of social enterprises and grass root groups. Partners have included businesses, governmental institutions, non-profit organizations, international and local organizations, bilateral donors and educational institutions.

Among the partnerships exist four important programs:

Egypt@Work

This is a partnership between the International Youth Foundation, The MasterCard Foundation and Nahdet El Mahrousa. The four-year USD 5 million program provides around 10,000 educationally disadvantaged youth with the skills, knowledge and opportunities needed to find and maintain employment or start new enterprises.

Scholarships and Training for Egyptian Professionals: 

A five-year program funded by the USAID and implemented by the International Institute of Education, the program supports Egypt’s economic and social development by improving staff skills with Egyptian institutions and developing a stronger workforce through the provision of scholarships, job training skills, and technical assistance.

Oreed (I want) Social Enterprise:

Oreed is a social enterprise founded in 2011 following the political unrest with the belief that citizenship values and concepts would be the driver of foundational change and reform in Egypt. Oreed has a main objective which is to revitalize the community where every Egyptian citizen is fully aware of his rights and responsibilities and is taking a positive role in building a better future for Egypt. Since its foundation, Oreed works on spreading Citizenship awareness and knowledge in addition to engaging the Egyptian people in active political, civic and social participation.

Namaa (Growth) Initiative:

Namaa is a volunteer youth initiative which aims to teach and cultivate skills needed to advance Egypt’s civil society. Namaa believes the building blocks of a civil society are proactive social entrepreneurs who are capable of initiating solutions towards their community challenges, and who are willing to work with other community partners towards having a positive social impact. This leads to a society where people feel and practice their ownership of their country Egypt; through active engagement in the community. The initiative achieves this by empowering the social entrepreneurial spirit, morals and skills in whomever it comes into contact with through its various educational platforms: Namaa School(s) for Sustainable Development, Graduation Projects/Initiatives, and Tawasol Salon.

NM can be considered a networking hub for all active Egyptians both aboard and in Egypt. NM members believe that the younger generations have the creativity and determination to create genuine change within their country and beyond.

For more info, we encourage you to visit NM’s website: http://nahdetelmahrousa.orgIf you would like to communicate with NM, email info@nahdetmasr.org