Nahdet El Mahrousa

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‘Social Innovation Starts With YOU’ competition begins on June 28th; winners will receive grants and project incubation to help bring their ideas to life or expand existing projects. 

 Yahoo! Inc. and Nahdet El Mahrousa, an Egypt-based NGO will launched a social entrepreneurship program and competition hoping to inspire young Egyptians to think about social entrepreneurship and  socially responsible business ideas, that are innovative and sustainable and can have a positive impact on Egypt. The competition will foster Internet innovation and growth in emerging markets across the Middle East with the unique combination of Nahdet El Mahrousa’s commitment to Egypt’s economic and social development, and Yahoo!’s global scale and technology expertise. 

The “Social Innovation Starts With YOU” competition calls on young Egyptians to visit where inspirational stories are shared by some of today’s most successful Egyptian social entrepreneurs. Additional resources will also include an entrepreneurship toolkit, a place to enter social entrepreneurial ideas to be eligible to win monetary grants and project incubation at Nahdet El Mahrousa’s Incubator of Innovative Social Enterprises, which includes technical and management support to help bring the entrants ideas to life. 

“In partnering with Yahoo!, we are furthering Nahdet El Mahrousa’s mission to engage and activate young Egyptian professionals in the development and public arenas and in shaping Egypt’s future,” said Ehaab Abdou, co-founder and board member of Nahdet El Mahrousa. “Through the Social Innovation Starts With YOU competition we are seeking young social entrepreneurs who are agents of change in their communities and demonstrate strong passion for and appreciation of Egypt and its diversity”.

Calling for Innovative Ideas

Today more than 16.5 million people use the Internet in Egypt, representing one of the largest Arab Internet populations.  Starting on June 28, Yahoo! and Nahdet El Mahrousa invite individuals from across Egypt to be the next social entrepreneurs of the year by developing new enterprise ideas that have a positive developmental impact on the lives of Egyptians in the categories of education, health, environment, and a wildcard category. The competition’s website ( will serve as an entry point for aspiring entrepreneurs by providing an online toolkit of resources, inspirational stories, advice, and Web services to get them started. Ten winners will be honored in November with monetary grants, capacity building, technical support, infrastructure, and performance management.   Among the winners will also be current social entrepreneurs who will receive support to scale their efforts and achieve wider impact. In total, Yahoo! will contribute $500,000 to the campaign, and as part of that, will provide close to $250,000 in monetary grants to awardees.

“Yahoo!’s announcement to acquire Maktoob last year shined the spotlight on tech entrepreneurs in the Arab world and the incredible potential and talent in the region that is largely untapped,” said Ahmed Nassef, vice president and managing director of Yahoo! Middle East. “This partnership with Nahdet El Mahrousa continues our commitment to invigorate and grow the Internet market in the Middle East as a whole and will enable the next wave of tech entrepreneurs from Egypt to realize their dreams. We can’t wait to see their innovative ideas!”

Criteria for Competition

Each applicant’s proposed social enterprise will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Root Causes: Projects must address the root causes of societal issues rather than addressing the symptoms.

Scalability: Projects must have a clear vision on how to affect large segments of society.

Innovation: Projects must take an innovative approach to the need they are addressing.

Sustainability: Projects must consider sustainability as a priority to ensure that the project would continue and would have the necessary means and resources — human, financial, and otherwise- to be able to continue and expand.

Mission: Projects must have clear and specific ideas with well-defined missions and objectives.

Impact: Projects much have tangible impacts on target beneficiaries or clients.

Monitoring and Evaluation: Applicants must list quantitative and qualitative performance indicators. 

Utilize the Internet:  Projects must leverage the internet in some capacity to meet their mission.


Vote for the Entrepreneur Who Has Already Made an Impact

Starting on June 28, 9 inspiring social entrepreneurs will be featured, and visitors to the website can vote for the entrepreneur who they think has made the biggest impact on their communities. The winner will be featured on the front page of and invited to be a judge for the campaign’s Social Innovation Competition.

The 9 inspiring social entrepreneurs include:

Sherief El Ghamrawy, Founder, Basata and Hemaya

Raghda El Ibrashy, Founder, Alashanik Ya Balady

Manal El Mahdy, Founder, Teen Stuff and Kelmetna

Sherief Abd El Maseeh, Founder, SPARK

Mohamed El Sawy: Ashoka fellow and founder of El Sawy Cultural Wheel

Mona El Sayed: Managing Director, World Fair Trade Organization and Managing Director, Fair Trade Egypt

Magda Iskandar, Founder, Care with Love

Amr Koura, Founder, ALKARMA Edutainment

Amr Waked, Actor & Co-founder, Zad Communications

 About Nahdet El Mahrousa

Nahdet El Mahrousa (NM), in Arabic meaning the Renaissance of Egypt, is an Egyptian youth-led non-governmental organization, established in November 2003 and registered with the Ministry of Social Solidarity. NM seeks to make a positive and lasting impact on Egypt’s cultural, economic and social development through activating and engaging Egyptian youth in the country’s development, public work and decision-making arenas. NM achieves these goals through its core program, the “Incubator of Innovative Social Enterprises,” which acts as a vehicle for social innovation and is the first of its kind in Egypt and the region. NM currently incubates several active social enterprises in the areas of youth development, arts and culture development, health services and the environment, linking education to employment, promoting the culture of research and development, promoting the values of citizenship and tolerance, and preparing emerging young leaders and development practitioners. The NM incubator addresses a wide community of youth, students, and other beneficiaries throughout the country.


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