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Meet the Startup Turning Children into Early Bird Entrepreneurs in Egypt

Setting off to prove that it’s never too early to start, Arcadia creates tailored entrepreneurship programmes across Egyptian schools for children as young as 7.

You might wonder, what kind of company can a 7-year-old really start? A factory making rainbow-shaped cookies? It might not be the most groundbreaking tech startup you’ve seen, but for that child, that little startup baking cookies shaped like a rainbow makes a world of difference. That’s what Mayar Hossam had in mind when she founded Arcadia, a company organising workshops for children across the country for the youngest ones to get a first-hand experience in the entrepreneurial world.

“Our mission is to provide programmes dedicated to experiential learning to middle, elementary and high school students in order to build independent future innovators with an entrepreneurial mindset,” Hossam says. Focusing on that as well as raising awareness, and boosting confidence and prospects, their programmes are delivered through a so-called experiential learning method, helping to build the skillset of students aged between 7 and 18, when they are at the peak of their curiosity and creativity.

It’s not about establishing a business at a young age; inspiring students at this age increases their awareness of their own potential and career options, and increases their positive impact. Indeed, Hossam and co-founders Yehia Basha and Hana Barakat were in second year at college, “We had the dream of establishing an entrepreneurial hub for school students. We put the idea out and started implementing it through Injaz’s programme for entities, GUC Summer School, Kidzania, and Manchester International School,” she says.

As the team continued to develop their programmes, younger and younger children were incorporated. “We thought that young age groups would be hard to handle; but on the contrary, we were very wrong. They actually were hooked to the programme, and they are limitlessly creative. The tough part was convincing them with the infeasibility of the idea implementation,” she explains.

Having worked with various schools and organisations – including Kidzania and SPARK Ventures - the startup is now concluding a programme at the Manchester International School, where students have come up with business ideas and worked on prototypes. The little hustlers will be presenting their inventions on Saturday April 8th, where parents and attendees will be their first source of feedback.

For more information, visit Arcadia’s website.


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