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Entrepreneurs Only Get Younger in Egypt: Girl Turns Her Fashion-Passion into a Social Business

Meet Egypt’s new generation of entrepreneurs. They are surprisingly young, they rock at multi-tasking, and they work their way out of difficulties with tremendous determination.

Take the case of Noura Galal. She works at Educate.me, a non-profit organization for underprivileged children. While walking daily through the humble streets of Konayessa, in Cairo, she got to observe its women closely.

Most of them were married when they were 18, they did not continue their education, and really suffer from a young age. The sew abbayas, but they are used by the traders,” she says.

Thinking about these women’s dreams reminded Noura of her own childhood wish: to be a fashion designer. “My parents did not encourage me because they wanted me to focus on studying. But as soon as I got my first salary, I bought a sewing machine and started cutting (that is, ruining) anything that came across,” she jokes.

After taking a course in fashion design, she waited no more and, two months ago, her social business Rafeya was born. She is partnering with 3 seamstresses from Konayessa to produce fashionable items and then sell them online.

“I want to create a space where they can feel in control and invest in themselves. They will have shares in each product they produce, so their income will increase,” Noura explains.

Rafa, the Arabic word for tailor, is a trade mainly run by men in Egypt; “but Rafeya will be the first step for women to take over!” she claims.

For more information: contact Noura Galal

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Valentina Primo

Journalist, globetrotter, and determined idealist. Since Valentina left her home country of Argentina, she has searched for ways to build bridges between cultures and foster dialogue. Her previous work in international organizations in Italy and Germany fed her passion for the world of development, while her 8-year journalistic experience in Argentina and Egypt increased her curiosity for everything that challenges the stereotype. She holds a BA in Journalism and a Masters in Peace Studies with a specialization in Human Rights.

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