For various reasons, I’ve been thinking a lot about Egypt. Here are some random, small thought on improving Egypt. As I look over my notes from conversations with people, mostly in the top 3%, but some in the bottom of the bottom in Giza, a few themes seem consistent:
– Improving education for women can only help the country as a whole
– There exists an English-speaking workforce
– There exists a nascent start-up culture wanting to be funded and have some example successes.
– There exists a decent telecommunications infrastructure.
– There exists a mostly business-friendly government desperate to get revenues flowing again.
The first random thought is to open a girls school for coding and tech support. Build a base of women able to work from home, which fits in the traditional culture, but enables them to make money for the family and gain some marketable skills.
The second random thought is to open a call center. With some education, English speaking skills, and reliable people, you could start to move the outsourcing of basic business needs to Egypt. India and other places while still cheap, are growing more expensive. Many larger businesses are looking to outsource to someplace cheaper. Distributing this to largely at-home women using Internet technologies could be a first start.
The third random thought is to start funding some simple startups. There are a ton of basic needs wanting to be met in Egypt. There is a massive potential labor pool sitting idle. Finding someway to get them going in a more peer-to-peer fashion (rather than top down) is a fine experiment to see what works. Double down on funding what works.
The fourth random thought is to start offering services which take advantage of the realities of urban life in Egypt, namely Cairo. Sitting in traffic, people everywhere looking to traverse the city, and buildings going up like weeds are all fine places to start to experiment with service solutions. I know Egyptians have thought of this, but for some, doing it will potentially make them wealthy.
The fifth random thought is I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m just responding to the jumble of thoughts in my head crossed with my personal experiences in the country and what I’ve been reading about the current state of affairs in Egypt.