Mazen Helmy, a formerly bored construction engineer, runs The District, the first co-working space in Egypt. Helmy’s newest: mixing Co-working and Fashion. The official press center of the upcoming Cairo’s Fashion Festival is the first The District pop-up.
–. At first Helmy wanted to create a café for entrepreneurs and businesspeople. In 2010 he was working as a construction engineer, and felt bored and uninspired by the conventional office environment. However, the idea soon evolved into a shared working space for individuals who need an environment that supports creative thinking and the sharing of ideas.
In 2011, Helmy launched The District and has since been working on growing its community and physical space, which is now over 1,000m². There is no selection process to be part of the community.
“Our community keeps growing and attracting different kinds of entrepreneurs; like those working in different fields and from different nationalities and different backgrounds.”
The District provides entrepreneurs and start-ups with shared infrastructure such as Internet access, desks, chairs and printers, and is more financially efficient for young start-ups that cannot afford to invest in their own work premises yet. The co-working space also allows its members to share services such as lawyers, accountants and web designers.
Membership fees can range from temporary access of US$1.5 per hour to full access of $170 per month. According to Helmy, there are plans to expand The District to include a second location in Cairo.
Helmy’s newest: mixing Co-working and Fashion. The official press center of the upcoming Cairo’s Fashion Festival is the first The District pop-up.
The success of The District also revealed some international attention. Recently, Helmy has been featured on the list of the Forbes Magazine among the 30 most promising entrepreneurs in Africa 2014.
Helmy said the entrepreneurial environment in Egypt is booming, especially among the younger generation, adding that there is a saying in the country that states that
“to be human is to be an entrepreneur”
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