From Yemen to a successful Entrepreneur in Egypt: E’etmad’s Journey with the EU-funded Masar Egaby Project

February 3, 2023
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A EU-funded project is helping ambitious migrant entrepreneurs in Egypt to start-up their private businesses. By providing them with essential life and business trainings as well as seed funding, the Masar Egaby project – funded by the EU and Save the Children Italy under the EU Trust Fund North of Africa – is successfully supporting youth and adults who wish to embark on the entrepreneurship journey in Egypt. Read below the story of one the project’s beneficiaries, E’etmad, a single mother who arrived in Egypt from Yemen.

How to feed and care for a family as a single mother was E’etmad biggest worry when she arrived from Yemen to Cairo a few years ago. She explored different livelihood options and enrolled herself in various online courses, until she found her fit and inspiration in the production of natural soaps. At first, E’etmad was cautious with starting a business and investing her money into an unknown future, until she was introduced to the Save the Children’s Masar Egaby programme, funded by the EU. Via the programme, (I) “learned how to turn my idea into reality, starting off with conducting a feasibility study and how to allocate the start-up grant received from the programme efficiently. Having the team follow-up with me throughout each phase gave me a lot of courage and put me on the right track” E’etmad explained.

E’etmad’s soaps line is now very popular beyond her close circle, and she managed to build a strong network of regular clients and a following on social media. She also started conducting private training sessions for other home-based women trying to earn a living. E’etmad was also approached by Egypt’s National Council for Women to train 20 women from different Egyptian villages in turn. She is now looking to expand her line of natural products, aiming to produce creams and other skin-care products. She also aspires to have her own booth at a local mall to encourage sales all year long.

Besides E’etmad, the Save the Children’s Masar Egaby Programme, aims to support around 285 youth and adults to start up and expand their private businesses. Save the Children provides support via, amongst other activities, orientation sessions and career guidance, vocational/technical and business training, conditional cash assistance, field visits and coaching, business groups and market linkages.