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Everything You Need to Know About Egypt’s Entrepreneur Awards 2022

After a special launch event that introduced new jury members and new awards, the road to EEA begins now.

Investments, exits and ecosystem growth are at an all-time high. The number of deals is experiencing 65% YoY growth. Venture capitalists from across the world have their gazes firmly set on the business landscape and are set to exceed last year’s $500 million mark with investments in 2022. Egypt is, without question, on the ascendancy as one of the most exciting emerging markets on the planet. 


 Indeed, with a population of 100 million and a strategic geographic position in the region, Egypt is perfectly placed to be a hub of tech and innovation in MENAP and Africa. Driving this boom, however, is an increasingly deepening, talented and resourceful pool of entrepreneurs, men and women who are finding solutions and putting Egypt on the map.


In 2021, Egypt’s Entrepreneur Awards were launched to celebrate and spotlight these innovators, the debut edition attracting thousands of nominees across 19 categories covering everything from fintech and F&B, to social entrepreneurship and sports. This year, EEA has undergone something of a reshuffle, with new awards and reformatted categories aiming to cover more of the entrepreneurial landscape in the country. Woman Entrepreneur of the Year has turned heads, while categories such as Food & Beverage, Sports & Fitness and Marketing Communications have been reworked to encompass more types of enterprises in these fields.


With its ecosystem standing amongst the richest in Africa and amongst the most attractive for investors in the MENAP region, Egypt sits at a critical crossroad. Beyond the entrepreneurs and investors, it really is a complex ecosystem made up of accelerators, incubators, venture capitalists and support networks that are all pushing in the same direction. EEA has its own role to play, as a platform to recognise and salute, to inspire and pave the way for more innovators to take the leap of faith.


The ceremony will take place at the Kundalini Grand Pyramids in June, though before then, tens of industry leaders will take their places as jury panels, experts and innovators in their fields.


Additionally, for the second year in the row, StartupScene are proud media partners of the event – and have the inside scoop on the road to the awards ceremony. Here’s everything you need to know. 


WHAT IS EEA LOOKING FOR?

In its perpetual state of innovation and development, Egypt’s one constant is change. With a population of over 100 million and being one of the most central focal points of Africa and the Middle East, the country’s potential is vast. This is not lost on the hundreds of men and women working tirelessly to contribute to this evolution – the very same trailblazers who are the cream of the entrepreneurial crop being celebrated at EEA. So how are they chosen amongst a sea of like-minded innovators? 

Nominees must be:

-The nominee must be an innovative risk taker, change maker and business starter who’s had an impact on society.
-At least one of the founders must have an Egyptian nationality.
-Each Nomination must include one entrepreneur only.
-Each Entrepreneur can only be nominated for one award, apart from Young Entrepreneur of the Year & Women Entrepreneur of the Year.
-The company has to be registered under Egyptian law.
-The company must at least be operational for two years and not more than 15 years, except for Young Entrepreneur of the Year (must be operational for less than 5 years, and entrepreneur should be less than 35 years old).

HOW WILL THE NOMINEES BE ASSESSED?

-The EEA jury panels will focus on assessing universal entrepreneurial skills, including but limited to leadership, resilience, brand image, vision, growth, impact, market knowledge, innovation and strategy.

-Each award will be judged by a panel of relevant industry experts, experienced business figures and leaders from academia, who will select the winners based on a standard rubric as well as their additional industry expertise.

WHO CAN NOMINATE?

-EEA will receive nominations from board and  jury members, sponsors and ecosystem partners, and the EEA team.

-The public can also have their say and nominate entrepreneurs via  www.EEAwards.org.

WHO ARE THE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS?

With decades of combined experience, the EEA advisory board is made up of entrepreneurs, investors and leaders, each bringing their own perspective and vision to the initiative

-Ahmed El Sewedy - President & CEO, Elsewedy Electric S.A.E. 

-Ahmed Habib - President & CEO, Harvest Holdings

-Aladdin Saba - Founding Partner, BPE Partners

-Dina El Mofty - Founder, Injaz Egypt

-Hussein Rifai - Serial ENtrepreneur & Co-founder & Executive Chairman, INERTIA Holding

-Neveen El Tahri - Chairperson, Delta Shield For Investment 

-Onsi Sawiris - Co-founder & Managing Partner, HOF Capital 

-Thuraya Ismail -  Executive Director, Mentor Arabia 

-Wael Fakharany - CEO, Edenred UAE


THE CATEGORIES

Architecture & Interior Design

The Award: 

Architecture: For architects who have grown their passion into successful businesses in the fields of architectural design, landscaping, urban planning and restoration architecture.

Interior Design: For Designers with a strong and innovative track record in commercial and/or residential interior design, furniture design, lighting design or exhibition design.

The Jury

-Amr Helmy (Founder, Amr Helmy Designs)
-Karim El Hayawan (Design Principle, Design Point Interiors)
-Mona Hussein (Founder, Mona Hussein Design House)
-Shahira Fahmy (Founder & Principal, Shahira Fahmy Architects)
-Raef Fahmi (Founder, Raef Fahmi Architects) 

E-commerce

The Award: For entrepreneurs that own online retail shops, platforms, suppliers, brands or any company that trades online and provides seamless consumer experiences aided by digital technology.

The Jury

-Omar El Sahy (GM, Amazon Egypt)
-Walid Hassouna  (CEO, ValU)
-Mohamed Aboul Fotouh (Consumer Engagement & Marketing Capability Director, PepsiCo Egypt)

Fashion 

The Award

Apparel & Accessories Design: For local designers whose creative clothing and/or accessory brands have broken barriers in the regional and even global fashion world.

The Jury

-Paul Antaki (Founder & Chairman, Premium International For Credit Services)
-Mohamed Talaat (Vice Chairman & CEO, Concrete)
-Yasmine Yeya (Creative Director, Maison Yeya)

Jewellery Design: For local jewellers whose designs have led the way in craftsmanship and innovative designs.

The Jury

-Fatma Ghaly (CEO, Azza Fahmy)
-Phillipe Katchouni (Partner, Katchouni Jewellery)
-Mahmoud Sirgany (VP, Sherif Elsirgany Joailliers)

Fintech

The Award: For entrepreneurs who have a product or service that continues transforming and innovating the financial technology sector in areas such as e-payments, digital lending, personal finance, blockchain, insurtech, regtech and more.

The Jury

-Nidal Assar (CEO, EG Bank)
-Shebab Marzban (Founder & CEO, Dfin Holding)
-Mohamed Assem (Egypt Country Manager, Mastercard)
-Ashraf Sabri (CEO, Fawry)
-Malak El Baba (Egypt Country Manager, Visa)

Food & Beverage 

The Award

Full Dining Service (Dine Dining, Casual Dining, Family Dining): For entrepreneurs who use their culinary and business experience to open restaurants with innovative, exotic menus that offer the highest quality food service and atmosphere, while raising the overall standard of the food and hospitality industry in Egypt.

Fast Service (Fast Casual, Quick Service, Coffee & Snacks): Foro entrepreneurs who strive to provide unique F&B offerings with fast casual brands which include fast-food restaurants, food trucks, coffee shops, specialty shops, etc, that have taken Egypt’s taste buds by storm.

The Jury

-Fahed El Dalati (Managing Partner, Crave)
-Frank Heinen (MD, Food Concepts 101)
-Karim Khalife (CEO, Raya Restaurants)
-Mostafa El Anwar (CEO, BPE Partners)
-Jalal Abou-Gazaleh (CEO, Gourmet Egypt)

Marketing Communications

The Award

Branding: For creatives in the branding field developing revolutionary brand strategies, logo designs, brand identities and facelifts to better help companies communicate the right message to the right audience.

Storytelling: For entrepreneurs who prodigy original storylines through relevant communications and/or innovative mediums to engage clients, be it photography production, videography, music and other content creation forms.

The Jury

-Amy Mowafi (Founding Partner & CEO, MO4 Network)
-Ihab Gohar (Co MD, Mediahub MENA)
-Bassel El Deeb (Partner and co-CEO, Tarek Nour Group)
-Moataz Kotb (MD, CultArk)
-Hany Shoukry (CEO Egypt & North Africa, JWT)

Real Estate Development

The Award: For entrepreneurs who provide valuable experiences for their customers within the real estate industry, particularly in brokerage, property management and property financing, as well as those using proptech to improve how people buy, sell and rent properties.

The Jury

-Ahmed Shalaby (President & CEO, Tatweer Misr)
-Ahmed Badr El Din  (CEO, El Badr Commercial Developments - Arkan)
-Ramy Halaby (CEO, New Giza)

Social Entrepreneurship

The Award: For entrepreneurs leading a social enterprise that is focused on addressing a major social and/or economic issue in the region, while driving positive change in the community.

The Jury 

-Reem El Saady (National Program Manager, ERBD)
-Noura Selim (Executive Director, Sawiris Foundation for Social Development)
-Mohamed Shelbaya (Chairman & CEO, Pepsico Egypt)

Sports & Fitness

The Award: For entrepreneurs who have impacted the sports and fitness scene in Egypt by launching gyms, training facilities, performance centres, new sports, camps, sporting events, adventure activities and managing athletes

The Jury

-Amr Gazarin (Former President, GSC)
-Rania Elwani (Egyptian Olympic Swimmer)
-Moataz El Etreby (Founder, Blue Ribbon)

Supply Chain & Logistics

The Award: For entrepreneurs who implement new evolving business models to digitally transform the movement of resources or the management of that movement with more safety, coordination, and planning.

The Jury

-Mohamed Abou Ghaly (Senator & Board Member, Abou Ghaly Motors)
-Hisham El Khazindar (CO-Founder and MD, Qalaa Holdings)
-Tino Waked (Regional GM, Uber)

Technology & Innovation

For entrepreneurs that offer innovative technology services that deliver business value, whether by creating competitive advantage, optimising business processes, enabling growth, or improving customer relationships.

-Ziad Mokhtar (CEO, expeditions.tech)
-Mirna Aref (GM, Microsoft Egypt)
-Khaled Ismail (Managing Partner, HIMangel)

Tourism & Hospitality

The Award: For entrepreneurs who help drive tourism to Egypt by using technology, creative content, boutique-style accommodation and/or unique travel packages.

The Jury

-Amr Badr (MD, Abercrombie & Kent)
-Ahmed Tolba (Chair & Associate Professor of Marketing, AUC)

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

The Award: For young entrepreneurs who launched their company less than five years ago, are less than 35 years of age and have implemented new technologies to solve old problems.

This award will be judged by the EEA Advisory Board.

Woman Entrepreneur of the Year


The Award: This award celebrates and recognises the achievements of Egyptian women entrepreneurs and their professional journeys.


The Jury


Amal Enan (Founder, Lotus Capital)
Pakinam Kafafi (CEO, Taqaa Arabia)
Hadeer Shalaby (MD, Talabat)


Lifetime Achievement (Presented by Endeavour)

The Award: For entrepreneurs who after building their own successful companies, go above and beyond to invest in and support other entrepreneurs, thus creating further value in the ecosystem.

This award will be judged by Endeavor’s Advisory Board