GE Volunteers in Egypt Empower High School Entrepreneurs
In Egypt, micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises comprise 85% of non-agriculture private sector employment and 33.7% of total employment, according to the United Nations. So one of the best ways to boost job creation and economic expansion is to support the entrepreneurs who establish these businesses.
At the same time, unemployment among Egyptians aged 20-24 years old is 39%, while 90% of Egypt’s unemployed are youth. So any effort to promote entrepreneurship among young people helps address two major issues facing Egypt’s economy.
This is the context for a recent GE Volunteers project in which GE employees ran a workshop called “It’s My Business” that was designed by the non-profit organization Injaz Egypt. The workshop fosters entrepreneurship by teaching the four main principles of entrepreneurial success: filling a market need, knowing your customers, being creative and believing in yourself. The GE Volunteers touched the lives of more than 165 secondary school students in five classes at the Omar Ibn El Khatab Preparatory School in Cairo.
The focus on entrepreneurism is a key priority of Injaz Egypt, which prepares corporate volunteers to act as mentors, share knowledge and experience, and lead workshops and other learning opportunities for young people. Injaz Egypt is a member of Junior Achievement Worldwide and Injaz Al-Arab
During the GE Volunteers-led course, students identified start-up business ideas and explored ways to apply the four entrepreneurial principles in the development of their business plans. The students’ understanding of these principles was further explored through the lives of successful entrepreneurs and by analyzing current examples of social entrepreneurs.
The GE Volunteers organization has been active in Egypt since July 2013, working on many projects, including a blood donation drive, a clothes collection campaign and support to a women’s weaving shop and to an urban rooftop garden project. In all, GE Volunteers in Egypt have completed more than 400 hours of volunteer work in support of their communities.
GE Volunteers is a global initiative of GE that works with local organizations to address societal needs by inviting GE employees to contribute in ways that helps build stronger communities. Globally, GE’s employees volunteer more than 1.3 million hours of community service every year.
GE has been a partner to Egypt’s public and private sectors since 1974, working to support infrastructure development and growth. For more on GE in Egypt, click here.