On December 14, 2017, in the CAC theatre, we celebrated CAC winning the INJAZ Al-Arab Regional Competition for Young Entrepreneurs. Injaz is a youth centered, non-profit organization that aims to enhance youth entrepreneurial skills, create job opportunities, and to stimulate the economy through experiential learning, learning from business mentors and trainers.
In Arabic the word “Injaz” means “Achievement” and what an achievement our students accomplished! Our team of 20 teenage entrepreneurs made waves at the Injaz Al-Arab competition, battling 14 other Arab nations and taking home two prizes for their innovative beach product- named "Product of the Year", Zip & Flip: a water resistant bag that turns into a towel. Hassan Abdou’87, (CAC alumnus and current parent) helped coach our students throughout their journey as young entrepreneurs. Hassan is a private equity investor and serial entrepreneur. He has spent years founding businesses and managing medium-sized as well as multi-billion-dollar businesses. Who better to lead the CAC INJAZ team to first place!
The team went through idea inception up to product creation, and within just one month of launching the startup, the bags made EGP 40,000 in revenue, which later jumped to over EGP 70,000. In the words of our student co-founder Hashem Abdou-“Summer in Egypt is such a big deal and everyone goes to the beach, so we thought: what is the problem that people face when going to the beach? So we came up with Zip and Flip”.
This year, Startup Scene’s 25 under 25 includes our INJAZ -CAC students- the youngest entrepreneurs driving Egypt’s startup movement. http://www.startupsceneme.com/BehindTheStartup/25-under-25-The-Young-Entrepreneurs-Reinventing-Egypt?M=True
Staying in contact with our alumni, The Alumni and Community Engagement Office contacted the founder of INJAZ at CAC, our alum Ahmed Osman, class of 2009 to inform him of our student’s current INJAZ competition achievement. Based outside of Egypt, he could not make it to the ceremony due to work obligations, but sent our students a video from across the world to congratulate them himself. Ahmed was an IB student with honors (his name is on the plaque beside the High School principal’s office), graduated from UC Berkeley, and is now a successful business professional. The students were thrilled to see his message in their award ceremony and sent him a thank you video.
Moreover, our winning team received a generous gift from alumna Sahar Al-Arishy ‘83; an exclusive workshop she will give personally on how to storytell your brand. An invaluable skill they may use even after they graduate.
Founder of 18.213, Sahar is a creative and marketing guru who helps aspiring entrepreneurs around the world formulate their ideas, get the product right and learn how to merchandise it via storytelling. She recently had a successful first ever retreat for women entrepreneurs in Dahshor and her amazing work with professionals around the world has caught the attention of the Ministry in Egypt, which has now asked her to share her experience there.
Sahar has also helped our Middle School’s "Power of One" service class this year by catalyzing a movement to start cleaning up our community. First, they will start within the walls of CAC, with the hope that, once other students see them, it will inspire a movement to win back our community from the trash around us. She has helped the students create and tell the story to inspire others to participate in their cause.
CAC will also will be treating the INJAZ team to a pool-side celebration to put their Zip and Flip bags to use!