“You’ll become the books you read and the people you hang out with”
I remember this quote very well as it came to influence my approach in engaging with networking activities, it might even be one of the reasons why I started Egypreneur back in 2008, the best way to grow as an entrepreneur is to immerse yourself in an entrepreneurs network.
The Egyptian culture is still quite conservative and sensitive to “networks”, “organizations” and “affiliations” especially at university stage, when parents place high value on the academic performance and career orientation of their kids!
Lots of people wonder if engaging in student organizations would have any positive outlook in their career, from my experience working with both entrepreneurs and student organization in the past four year, I can clearly see a correlation between activity in student organizations and a more entrepreneurial outlook.
Her story is a perfect example for that, Hadeer Shalaby, joined AIESEC early on at university and took on the responsibility of setting up AIESEC Lebanon and then joining AIESEC Global expansion operations in the Netherlands where she worked on expanding AIESEC teams all around the world.
Coming back to Egypt, she didn’t fancy a corporate job and had been looking for something more active to do, couple of failed trials then she meets the right partner for her first venture, which came to be Taxi El Sa7el. The AIESEC experience helped her acquire the leadership and management skills to go through the experience of communicating and setting things up.
Also the resilience and craziness of a startup life, after a few days where they had absolutely no orders and the team of drivers they brought together to Sa7el started leaving, they had to make a move, Hadeer and team left offices and went into a full thrust on ground campaign distributing flyers and inviting people for rides.
As some drivers already left for lack of initial traction, Hadeer got her father to drive Taxi El Sa7el, her friend’s mom, herself and everyone who she can get to drive have joined the rank of Taxi El Sa7el drivers before setting up a more optimized operations to properly respond to the demand.
The venture was a success at its first season and even more importantly for Hadeer she won a bid she placed with her parents, if Taxi El Sa7el didn’t work she’ll be expected to pursue a corporate job, now as her venture worked, she is free to continue her entrepreneurial rides.
Unable to hold the entrepreneurial drive till next season and being presented with the opportunity, Hadeer joined Careem, as General Manager of Careem Cairo, the App-based chauffeur-driven car service competing with Uber in the middle east just announced its $10 Million funding round a week ago.
No claims is to be placed on how Student Organizations would contribute to your academic performance or your future career path, but even better it definitely can inspire you to take the route less traveled and ignite your entrepreneurial flame.
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This story will be mentioned under first chapter “You come first!” you can check more details about the book from https://www.egypreneur.com/survival
You too can hang out with the right network by signing up to Egypreneur membership from https://www.egypreneur.com