Egypt has had a tough few years. After the democratic election of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi and his subsequent ouster by the military, the country faces high amounts of unrest and instability. The polarization of citizens, a bitter political divide, curfews, and a perpetual state of emergency has made life particularly hard on Egyptian families, business partnerships, retailers, and e-commerce sites.
Where old businesses have failed to adapt, however, new entrepreneurs have flourished. Nearly 70% of the country’s population is under the age of 30, and they’re taking charge of their lives despite the fact that the government is still struggling to get the country in order.
“After January 25, we took ownership of our country, we do not wait for help from someone else,” said Gamal Sadek, who is a co-founder of Bey2ollak, a traffic app that was the winner of Google’s startup competition in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Bey2ollak is a user-driven traffic app that coordinates convoys of up to 40 cars traveling to the north coast of Egypt. In a country where security issues incite fear in residents needing to travel, this app is perfect for joining seniors, mothers with children, and other travelers together so that they can travel safely.
Mawenly is another app that’s gaining popularity. After the gas shortage in June, finding a working gas station could be a challenge for drivers. Mawenly is a GPS app that tracks these stations and allows users to report how long lines were. Even after the crisis ended, people continued downloading the app, opening it up for improvements and adjustments to stay useful for everyday life.
Bey2ollak and Mawenly are just two of many successful new entrepreneurial ventures by young people in Egypt. Check out this great article from Fast Company to learn about more startups that are rising from the ruins.