Developing the capabilities of Egyptian youths so that they can prosper in the job market is one of the country's most pressing challenges for the future.
Injaz Egypt, an education NGO, is working toward this goal, teaching undergraduate students how to outline visions for their future careers as they become innovative, ambitious entrepreneurs through the professional training programs they receive each semester.
During these brainstorming sessions corporate volunteers share their work experiences with the younger generation, basing their lectures on an Injaz curriculum that highlights skills such as leadership, business ethics and personal economics.
In 2011 alone, Injaz has supported over 1000 university students forming start-up companies based on the practical training they have received in the professional world.
Injaz will hold a competition on 24 September called “Dare to Dream: Empowering Egypt’s Young Entrepreneurs in 2011,” in which 500 top university students – on 22 teams from 11 Egyptian universities – will participate in a trade fair and compete for ten seed funds from corporations such as Mobinil, Exxon Mobil and Abraaj through which they can have the wherewithal to start their own businesses.
The "Dare to Dream" competition is the final phase of Injaz's Company Program (CP), which inculcates in them Injaz's business curriculum and then evaluates what the students have acquired over the course of the program.
During the CP, students establish their own small-scale enterprises with the help of a mentor from one of the participating firms. Once they come up with a creative product idea, they outline the basic structure of the business and go through all the stages of the manufacturing process.
“Through the Company Program, 'Dare to Dream,' and our other courses on entrepreneurship, work readiness, and financial literacy for every age level, Injaz Egypt hopes to contribute to building a stronger economic future for Egypt by equipping young people with the practical experience, character and skills necessary to drive Egypt’s economic future,” says Dina Mofty, Injaz Egypt's executive director.
The ten winning student companies will receive a LE285,000 reward for micro-enterprise offered by the sponsors, and will be assisted by their supporting firm in legally registering with the government and developing successful marketing strategies.
Injaz was first launched as a pilot project as part of the Save the Children NGO in 2003. Since then it has expanded its efforts to elevate economic education in Egypt, supported by leading Egyptian business foundations in partnership with the Education Ministry.
Since 2003, 141,813 students from local schools and universities have enrolled in Injaz's educational programs. In the academic year 2010-2011, Injaz has worked with 61,080 students in over 167 schools, as well as 11 universities and 19 governorates, with the help of 400 volunteers from 16 private sector companies.