• Agents of Change

    • A growing number of entrepreneurs and investors are determined to change the disaster the country is going through using virtual apps and urban proposals.

    The creative revolution in Egypt, a world of proposals born from ruins / 

    Currently in post-revolutionary Egypt, where youths represent a quarter of the population, the maturity of ideas is gaining significant force. The number of proposals, incubators, competitions and investors has quickly grown in the evolutionary sector. And while the scene is still burgeoning, the ecosystem is in construction, but the most brilliant people in Cairo are not in fact satisfied with their reality and instead they are taking fortunate actions to change.

    After Mohammed Morsi became the first elected leader in the country, his military disposition has given rise to restlessness that has left hundreds of detainees and deaths. The constant state of alertness and curfew has put additional pressure on salesmen and commerce owners, in which families and business societies have become dissolved because of political differences and the polarisation of the Egyptian society.

    In response to this, many proposals seeking to aid the people have gained strength to implement certain projects that will change safety in Egypt and that will attend to the public’s demands. These are some of the citizens’ new proposals:

    Bey2ollak

    Through the deterioration of general safety after the destitution of Morsi from power, Bey2ollak implemented a service that uses a mobile app to coordinate convoys of up to forty cars that travel to the northern Egyptian coast.

    “Lots of people were afraid to travel from Cairo to Alexandria. We saw this on social media and created a new category for ‘traveling groups,’ a new feature for specific routes,” Sadek says. “Most of the users are older drivers, mothers with children.” The company hands out Bey2ollak stickers for participating cars to identify each other. It also highlights “convoy of the day”.

    Mawenly

    Launched at the beginning of the gas shortness, a crisis that encouraged the rage and expulsion of Mohammed Morsi, this is a GPS mobile app that traces open gas stations. In those months, the cues in open gas stations could last hours, which allowed users to order food and shisha while they waited in their cars. Mawenly, which in Arabic mean “fill the tank” created an app operated by users that allowed these to report which stations had gas and how long the cue is in each. “After the crisis ended, people kept downloading it,” says Islam Zawawi, a co-founder. “We work hard to tweak it for everyday use, not just when there is a gasoline crisis.”

    PieRide

    Recently launched, PieRide is the solution that enables drivers a safer alternative when moving through the streets and informs them of the different road closures in the city. Karim El Mansi mentioned that the original idea was to introduce routes that connected residential areas with business centres, since a typical journey through Cairo’s congested streets can take hours.

    “This has to be done by the government, it cannot be done by a startup,” El Mansi says. “So we started with a simple solution: just introducing cars with trained drivers.”

    One of the functions is safety. Each car is equipped with a GPS and the company trains drivers to deal with specific safety issues. “It’s definitely much safer than being alone in a car or taking a taxi,” says El Mansi.

    El Wafeyat

    This is an obituary platform that was just launched this month. By announcing the time and the place for funerals and allowing users to upload their own obituaries, it aims to fill a niche that the death of the newspaper industry left behind.

    In Egypt, as in other Muslim countries, attending a funeral and honouring the dead is culturally important and symbolic. “You can miss a wedding or a birthday, but you can’t miss their funeral,” says Yousef Samaa, a CEO of El Wafeyat. “Not everyone reads the newspaper anymore, so there are no proper tools to get the news.”

    The company plans to expand regionally into the United Arab Emirates and other Muslim countries.

    Tagged: Egypt, Agents of Change, creativity, entrepreneurs