doroob: supporting Egyptian youth to create social impact through entrepreneurship

We are excited to announce the next stage of our collaboration with the DROSOS Foundation with the launch of doroob, an integrated support program for empowering future entrepreneurs to develop practical life skills and create social impact. 

doroob is a program which aims to identify students and recent graduates with innovative ideas that tackle challenges in four economically and socially crucial sectors; Creative Industries, Agri-business, Healthcare, and Tourism. The first edition of the program will support idea-stage entrepreneurs in creative industries. 

From ideation to incubation, the program provides tailored training and mentoring, network development opportunities, and direct financial support for participants. 

Why the name doroob?

You might have paused for a minute to think about the name “doroob” and what it means. Well, doroob is an Arabic word which means pathways. Throughout the doroob program, you are forging a pathway or trail into your future. It is a deliberate course of action and a way of achieving your goals as an aspiring entrepreneur aiming to bring socially-driven solutions and create change.

What are the program phases? 

The program has four phases: Identification of challenges, Ideation, Pre-incubation, and Incubation. 

The program kicks off with the identification of challenges and problem statements for the respective sectors by industry experts. Based on the findings, an awareness campaign is launched to shed light on the identified challenges.

Following this, we open an online call for applications where students and recent graduates across the country are encouraged to apply and submit their innovative solutions to the formulated challenges. In the ideation stage, 24 teams and their ideas will be selected to pitch their ideas in a one-day competition event in front of a jury of industry experts. Before joining the competition, the teams selected will receive pitch training to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully promote their ideas. 

Eight teams will then be selected to go though the pre-incubation stage, which will last for three months. Teams will undertake a comprehensive training program to validate their solutions and develop a proof of concept. The pre-incubation concludes with a public demo day in front of a jury panel for a chance to be among the top 3 teams selected for the incubation phase. 

The three teams selected for the incubation stage will receive business and technical training on product development, market entry and internationalization. The goal is to help them develop a minimum viable product (MVP) and commercialize their product. Throughout this stage, the teams will receive direct financial support of monthly EUR 600 per team member so that they are able to dedicate their time, energy and resources to turning their ideas into viable solutions. 

Bonus stage:  teams that make it to the incubation stage will  participate in a landing pad component in Berlin where they will be exposed to international experts and markets.

Why doroob? 

The program aims to provide learning & capacity-building opportunities for university students and recent graduates aiming to pursue entrepreneurship as a career.

Also, doroob aims to directly contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals of creating social impact and promoting equity, and to our ongoing mission of reducing economic inequality. Therefore, women applicants, refugees, applicants from rural areas, and people with disabilities, as well as applicants whose idea has the potential to create sustainable social, economic and/or ecological impact for any of the aforementioned groups, are given priority consideration in the selection process. 

Diversity and inclusion are known to channel innovation and creativity which are vital for the first edition of doroob; the creative industry. The first edition will focus on ideas relating to interior design, furniture design, performing artists and handicrafts. 

Empowering Creatives

So why did we choose to start with the Creative ‘darb’? 

Undoubtedly, the creative industry in Egypt has great potential, accounting for 16% of Egypt’s total GDP. Among Egyptian youth, there is a noticeable need and desire for self expression and more people are becoming aware of their identity and rich, complex culture, and they want to preserve it through their work. However, the industry faces challenges that are slowing its growth. There are many young people who aspire to become entrepreneurs in this industry, but are in need of support and direction that puts them on the right path. “There is limited guidance and mentorship for young artists who have just started their career. I highly encourage young artists to work on acquiring business knowledge in order to promote and market their work,” said Youssef Mansour, Founder of 404

During the identification stage for the creative industries, we sat down with experts and asked them about their insights when it comes to the challenges facing progress in the industry. Let’s take interior design as an example, sourcing local and sustainable materials has been identified as a main challenge for designers. “Although we have extremely skillful labor, we still suffer from shortage of raw materials which are typically being imported. Instead, manufacturers should work on locally producing innovative and sustainable raw materials in Egypt” said Dalia Laz,  Co-founder Esorus

This is where doroob comes in handy! The program bridges the gap between challenges and solutions, through providing an opportunity for youth to develop their innovative ideas into viable solutions. 

*Singular form of doroob, meaning one path.

What’s next? 

Our plan is to launch four tracks of doroob, each tackling a different industry, including, Agri-business, Healthcare, and Tourism. 

Currently, the first track is focused on the creative industry and has just launched the call for applications. We will keep you updated with the latest developments of the program. 

In the meantime, if you know someone who could be interested in the program, encourage them to learn more and apply! You can find more information here

Project Associate - Communications

An ambitious writer led by passion, inspiration, and curiosity with 3 years of experience in content creation and public relations. A firm believer of living life with compassion and empathy. She loves traveling, exploring, and being immersed in different cultures.

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