Dina El-Mofty is the founder of Injaz Egypt, an organization which has a strong educational focus on entrepreneurship as well as work readiness and is part of the Junior Achievement worldwide network. Dina has recently founded Inspo, a company focused on delivering leading global programs on personal and professional development in Egypt and the Middle East. She is also actively involved with the American Chamber of Commerce as the co-chair of the Women in Business Committee, and is a member of the U.S.-Egypt Business Council.
Injaz works in partnership with schools and universities across Egypt, and has helped impact more than half a million young people through its entrepreneurial and work readiness programs. The organization also has a strong focus on supporting young entrepreneurs through its startup incubator and helps them launch and accelerate their businesses. Injaz has seed funded and supported over 50 successful startup businesses over the past five years.
Nominated as one of the world’s most influential young Arabs under 40 by Arabian Business for 2016, Dina holds a graduate degree from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a bachelor’s degree from The American University in Cairo. Additionally, she spent time at Georgetown University during her undergraduate studies. She also holds professional degrees from Penn State University, INSEAD and Harvard University. Injaz works with schools and universities across Egypt, and has helped impact more than 500,000 students through its entrepreneurial and work readiness programs. The organization also helps young entrepreneurs jump start and accelerate their businesses and has helped seedfund and launch over 40 successful startups over the past four years
Prior to Injaz, Dina worked with Save the Children in helping expand their operations in Egypt. She was also part of a team that helped in establishing the Future Generation Foundation in Egypt. Prior to that, she conducted key research assignments for the US-Egypt Presidents Council.
After her inspiring panel at the Rise up Summit, she tells Barakabits how she made her dream come true.
What would you say is your greatest achievement?
Something that is very close to my heart is that one of the startups we are supporting was featured as one of the top 10 startups in the Middle East by Forbes magazine. These young students had barely graduated from university in Tanta, and created this waste recycling company called Recyclobekia that today is a success.
What also really makes us proud is that one of our alumni, Hamid Sharara, is the brainchild of the Rise Up Summit. One of our biggest purposes at Injaz is to spread the culture of entrepreneurship among young people, so to have our alumni organizing one of the biggest events in the region is something we are incredibly proud of.
You’ve made an impact in the lives of half a million people; what was the biggest obstacle you came across?
We dealt with a lot of bureaucracy in setting up the organization. The government had a very outdated perspective on things, and we were in our early twenties, and when you are starting, no one wants to deal with a young person. These were incredible challenges.
Your work involves teenagers and very young people; what is the potential you see?
We work with a broad range of ages to help them start a business, and what we notice is that this generation is unstoppable. They have great ideas, amazing drive and passion, and all they need is someone to support them or invest them and help. It is not always a matter of financial support, but in terms of mentoring, too. That is when you see that the sky is really their limit.
Do you feel there is special training needed for girls or women?
Our advice is to dream give and never give up, never let anyone hold you back. If you have a dream, stick to it, focus and pursue it no matter what it takes. As women, you have so many factors holding you back, and it is easy to fall into that comfort zone. But if you are a fighter and you are determined with that dream in your mind, don’t give up. Don’t let anyone get in your way.