Tough times spur spirit of entrepreneurialism in Middle East and North Africa
Despite driving for several years in Cairo, Neyourz Taalat still lacked confidence navigating the streets of the Egyptian capital.
The aggression she faced on the road coupled with her limited knowledge of the car’s mechanics propelled her to find a solution.
For many women in Cairo, driving is the safest mode of transport, but the lack of female driving instructors and the poor quality lessons can be a hindrance. So Ms Taalat developed Direxiona, an app that enables women to book driving lessons with female instructors in their area.
Ms Taalat is one of the many social entrepreneurs to have emerged in the wake of the Arab Spring. Their businesses target problems they face in their daily lives and while some are non-profit and are purely driven by creating social impact, others are more commercially driven, focused on turning a profit.
“In the years after the revolution, I found in Egypt there was a boom in the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” says Ms Taalat. “Their goals were to make Egypt better and to solve our daily issues which needed creative solutions. This was the inspiration for me, to bring a solution to the problem I was facing.”