Egypt awards, encourages entrepreneurs to make dreams come true
CAIRO, June 13 (Xinhua) -- During a breezy glamorous night at the foot of the great pyramids, Egypt held its first award ceremony to honor the country's entrepreneurs across various industries.
Egypt's Entrepreneur Awards (EEA) is the 1st such ceremony in Egypt aiming to acknowledge the nation's brightest entrepreneurs.
The award ceremony was largely attended by business leaders, government officials, foreign diplomats, and celebrities.
Aiming to motivate and inspire, the EEA, which kicked off on May 4 and concluded on June 12, focused on risk-takers, change-makers and innovators that create a positive influence in society.
During the competition, 22 out of more than 450 entrepreneurs were meticulously selected by 56 jury members to be the non-monetary encouragement award winners of the EEA's first edition.
"The idea to start this competition came to my mind a year and a half ago ... I was thinking why we do not have something like Oscars for entrepreneurs. I believe they are stars, but they do not have the opportunity to be on media," Amr Mansi, founder of the EEA, told Xinhua.
Mansi said this event will help shed light on entrepreneurs' achievements and will allow the media to tell their stories to the public, adding that the EEA will be held annually.
"This is just the beginning, and we have future plans for it," he said, pointing out that these ambitious people are role models to others and therefore deserve recognition.
For the evaluation process, the EEA jury panels focused on assessing skills such as leadership, resilience, vision, market knowledge, innovation, and strategy.
There was also a specific judging committee panel for each award made up of relevant industry experts, experienced businessmen, and leaders from academia.
"Today is a celebration for the entrepreneurs and all the stars participating in this big event," Mohamed Ashraf, a member of the general tech services jury panel, told Xinhua.
He noted that the competition was intense, stressing the competitors made it very hard for the jury to pick the best among them.
"Today is an inspiration for all entrepreneurs in Egypt to strive for whatever they want to get," he stressed.
Out of more than 450 nominated entrepreneurs, 72 finalists competed for the awards.
"I'm so proud to be among the finalists. This is very encouraging not only for me but also for all business starters in Egypt," Karim Rafla, co-founder and CEO of a company that turns shipping containers into fully customized homes, restaurants and offices, told Xinhua during the event.
Rafla, a graduate of Global Business Management and Entrepreneurship from a university in London, said such events help Egyptian entrepreneurs tell their stories to those who have visions and ideas for businesses.
"This platform will let me tell other young people with ideas for a creative business to start doing them ... this event is a push not only for me but also for other dreamers who want to stand here someday," Rafla said. Enditem