From a Sinai retreat to a beach-filled week in paradisiac El Gouna, these summer camps are the perfect chance for aspiring entrepreneurs to simultaneously network and disconnect.
Who said entrepreneurship events have to be all suits and stages? As the Egyptian startup ecosystem balloons, two upcoming events set out to take mentorship, wellness, and networking for aspiring entrepreneurs to some of the country's most exotic summer destinations: El Gouna and Nuweiba. Designed for young leaders and future changemakers, these events are catalysing the power and passion of Egyptian youth, whether it is high school students or college graduates, to transform their brimming, restless ideas into opportunities for collaboration.
A chance to escape the city, to reconnect with nature, and to rediscover purpose – that’s what El Re7la suggests for leaders and founders; a camp that mixes work, play and networking, with an agenda filled with activities for the mind, body, and soul. “We created it because we noticed that, although entrepreneurship events were technically good, we couldn’t get to know the other people in the room,” says Co-Founder Dalia Said.
Some of Cairo’s most impactful social entrepreneurs – such as Recyclobekia’s Co-Founder Mostafa Hemdan, Tennra’s Co-Creator Emily Renny and serial entrepreneur Riham Abu Elinin – were at last year’s edition in Sinai. This year’s edition kicks off on May 12th and runs until the16th in Nweiba, with applications closing today – April 20th. The camp will feature inspiring members of the Egyptian entrepreneurial ecosystem, such as Fustany Founder Amira Azzouz, Con O’Donnell, and Mostafa Hemdan. “It’s extremely valuable; it’s a great opportunity to think about how you can be happy and be more productive in life,” says Tennra's Emily Renny.
Spark Summer Camp
Launched through the prestigious MIT Egyptian Students Association, this award-winning program sets out to equip high school students and young Egyptians with the tools and skills they need to turn their ideas and passions into startups or social ventures.
This year, the program takes place in El Gouna, where one-on-one mentorship sessions, water sports, and student competitions will take youngsters on a week-long ride, from the 14th to 23rd of July. “I attended this programme when I was 16, and it was critical in my introduction to the ins and outs of how companies and startups work through their real life simulation,” says Coterique Founder Dana Khater.
Among the students who attended the previous editions, many went on to study at prestigious international universities, such as Harvard, MIT, Columbia, and McGill. Many have also founded some of Egypt’s most well-known startups, such as Hossam Taher from CairoSitters, and Marwan Roushdy from Swipe. The latter's success led co-founder Sherife AbdelMessih to be awarded amongst Yahoo’s Top Nine Social Entrepreneurs. “Now we're back, after a brief hiatus following the revolution in Egypt, and looking to continue to spur the development of another generation of leaders,” says event co-founder, Ramy Khorshed.
The camp, which focuses on giving teens the tools and skills to become successful entrepreneurs, combines sports – from paintball to go-karts and horseback riding – with life skills, leadership, and character development workshops.