University of Hertfordshire and Gemini Africa celebrate the closing of Rising Herts, an entrepreneurship program that was launched earlier this year to help our undergraduate students unleash their potential and prepare them to become part of the Egyptian entrepreneurial ecosystem.
With an aim to strengthen the Egyptian entrepreneurial ecosystem and nurture undergraduate’s entrepreneurial mindset through capacity building activities, the participating students in the Rising Herts programme embarked on a discovery journey that took them from ideation all the way to pitching their concepts. The programme aimed to build their knowledge base and provide them with hands-on experience in a safe environment where they could learn and experiment with the support from both Gemini Africa and the University of Hertfordshire.
As Professor Vincent Emery, President of UH-GAF noted “This was a great initiative which really engaged students and provided mentorship to allow them to realize their ideas and enhance their entrepreneurial skills. This is a great partnership between our University and Gemini Africa which has made an impact on everyone involved ”
Mr. Adly Thoma, Gemini Africa’s Chairman & CEO commented “I am very glad we have embarked on this endeavor and joined forces with University of Hertfordshire sharing a common vision that our role is to support youth not just through education but by also by building their capacities, injecting basics of entrepreneurship into their mindsets and preparing them for the challenges they will face in the business world … aspiring to create future successful entrepreneurs in different sectors like fintech, healthtech, media, arts and more.”
The program was kicked off with three public sessions addressing students from all programmes and disciplines. Mr. Adly Thoma, Gemini Africa Chairman & CEO conducted the opening session that covered the program induction as well as the opportunities that are available within the ecosystem. During these sessions, entrepreneurial experts helped students understand the realm of business opportunities and how to approach them.
The second and third public sessions brought with them a lot of inspiration as the program hosted famous startups founders sharing their success stories with the students, including tackling the challenges and opportunities of the entrepreneurship scene . The guests included: Amr Kawashti & Ezz Tarek, Founders - In Your Shoe; Sherif Zaatar, General Manager - Breadfast; Layla Ghaleb, International Dance Choreographer & Co-Founder - Goodspace; Mohamed ElBassiouni, Co-Founder & Managing Director – Tayarah; Ramy Magdy – Head of Consumer Experience - Yodawy; Mohamed AbdElMottaleb, Founder and Managing Partner – Xpay and Tarek Fahmy, Business & Entrepreneurship Consultant.
Participating students in the Rising Herts program were then enrolled into focused intensive workshops and professional mentorship sessions. The workshops helped them in generating a startup idea, forming teams, working out the best business model appropriate for their project, deep diving into market research and getting acquainted with basic financials underpinning their startup. All workshops and sessions were delivered in hybrid format by professionals.
The participants were divided into 6 groups with ideas ranging from mobile applications to fintech platforms, to eco-friendly fashion, to e-Commerce platforms as well as health-tech solutions based on their educational background and their team composition.
Finally, and as a last step in the Rising Herts programme, the Gemini Africa team conducted one-on-one sessions with each group to prepare them for pitching in front of a judging panel to determine the winning team based on the novelty of their idea, their potential for learning and growth as well as their dedication to see their idea come to fruition.
The Rising Herts programme bestowed upon the participating students the essential tools for entrepreneurs - Gemini Africa’s 3Ms (Mentorship, Matchmaking & Money) - to help them learn how to transform their ideas into a reality and prepare them for their endeavor in the business world post-graduation.
As a highlight to the programme impact, the closing ceremony was topped up by a pioneering investment opportunity offered from Mr. Mohamed Abdelmottaleb - Founder and Managing Partner – XPAY to one of the groups (CUSTOM) to be used as prototype seed-funding following the novelty of the idea. Mr. Abdelmottaleb will also conduct some business mentorship to the team to set them on the right track for developing their idea aspiring to lead them to growth.
In conclusion, the Rising Herts was a journey that did not only empower students through capacity building, but that was more of a life changing experience that will have long-term impact on their future as well.
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