The AUC’s Center for Sustainable Development hosted a day of workshops on green entrepreneurship and social enterprise on Saturday, May 24, 2014 from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. The event introduced participants to social entrepreneurship in Egypt, exposed them to resources and key organizations in this field, and guided them through the key stages of taking a project from idea to reality. The event brought together representatives from major organizations in the field like icecairo and ice_ribh, the AUC Venture Lab. Dr. Hani Sewilam, the program director of the MSc in Sustainable Development, opened with and participated in the session.
Dr. Hani Sewilam gave a presentation about how Egypt is in an urgent need for Sustainable Development that is linking the economic and social growth to the environmental preservation avoiding more deterioration of the lands and additional diseases for the population, while promoting preservation and good management of exhausting natural resources. He mphasized on many issues that can be summarized as follows; (1) the lack of skillful professionals who have innovative green solutions for the environmental challenges and necessary entrepreneurial skills to start-up business and create jobs for themselves and others, and (2) universities do not consider innovation and entrepreneurship as part of their education programs.
Mohamed Radwan from icecairo gave a presentation about their capabilities and expertise in training and guiding entrepreneurs especially in the field of green technology, innovation and environmental protection to develop their concepts from idea to reality. Importantly, he introduced some of the entrepreneurs already trained and showed their stories which includes difficulties and obstacles but also how they have faced and overcome them. Afterwards, Sara El Sayed from ice_ribh presented their work to foster sustainable business models in Egypt. icecairo and ice_ribh conducted a workshop for the attendees and participants through letting four participants to show their concepts and how they could develop them through discussion with other participants – this was a downsized model of their sustainable start-up lab.
As a practitioner in the field, green entrepreneur Hany Elkhodary, who is active in the field of composting, rooftop gardening and biogas applications. He is the co-founder of Biogas People, an green entreprise promoting the application
All in all, the participants have shared a rich experience which has contributed to the understanding of social and green entrepreneurship and further developed some ideas through group activities.