By Nudge Sustainability Reporter Mostafa Shahat
Social Entrepreneurship is the big umbrella that protects people rights, spreads peace, teaches difference acceptance, and helps to solve problems with education and unemployment. Now imagine introducing social entrepreneurship to young people and use their power to change communities and their creativity to implement more creative solutions. Social entrepreneurship is always turning people power ON and never turns it OFF, it’s the courage to start something from scratch or to update something old. Social Entrepreneurship is the only way for developing countries to improve their communities’ living standards; it teaches us how to be positive, an initiator and a leader in our community.
After working 5 year in social entrepreneurship in Egypt, I can admit that social entrepreneurship can’t be separated from sustainability, especially when it comes to educational projects; we always have to think of long term plans and always keep our vision & passion in our eyes and hearts.
I have interviewed one of the most successful social entrepreneurs, Mostafa Farahat, Nafham Co-Founder & General Manager, who started an educational platform in Egypt that has more than 500 thousand students, 23 thousand educational videos for all the education’s levels starting from Primary, prep and secondary schools, and 30 million views online. Nafham means understand in English.
Mostafa is an architect and digital designer who's passion towards Marketing motivated him to change his career to Marketing and later to start his own business and became a social entrepreneur. Mostafa was thinking of starting his own company for a while before he took the leap, but he didn’t get into action until he met the right partners: Muhammad Habib a former colleague, and Ahmed Alfi, Founder & Chairman of Nafham and Sawari Ventures. They all shared the same passion towards education, Ahmed Alfi being the one with different international expertise and he knowledge of different modules of educational projects all over the world. He had the initial idea of uploading educational videos online which became Nafham's core concept. Muhammad Habib is Nafham COO, the operation guru and the one behind Nafham tech solutions.
Mostafa was always seeking to use his experiences to help the community, and once he met Alfi and Habib he left his full time job immediately and joined Flat6Labs to build Nafham (Flat6Labs is a regional startup accelerator program that fosters and invests in bright and passionate entrepreneurs with cutting-edge ideas).
Quote from Mostafa “It was not a hard decision, as I have discussed it with my family many times before when I was still only thinking of starting my own company. We agreed on the idea, but the timing was always the issue and once there was a chance to start an incubation program and work hard on the idea of Nafham, I didn’t hesitate to leave my job”.
Nafham’s mission is making the education accessible and easy for everyone which is why Nafham has transferred the educational curriculum that is taught in public & private school to an online curriculum while using interaction & fun in their videos.
Nafham has started contacting teachers who are willing to volunteer their time to convert the regular traditional curriculum to online interactive classes. Nafham provides the teachers with the support to be able to digitize the curriculum, covering all grades from primary to high school categorized by year, semester, and subject making it easy for students to find the right classes and to see if they have missed any classes from school. Nafham has succeeded to convert more than 4000 subjects to online classes, each class 15 min. The classes do not only work for the Egyptian education curriculum but they also work for the curriculums of other countries such as Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Syria.
To be able to create more online classes, Nafham has created a crowd teaching competition, where students themselves can create online classes after they understood the material. Since 2013 there is a monthly competition, where Nafham chooses the most viewed class online and rewards the winning student with a Smart TV, Mobile, or Tablet.
Nafham has more than 23 thousand videos online, more than 500 volunteers, 7 full time employees, and succeeds to win many different international competitions.
Mostafa shares some advice for entrepreneurs:
Countries in the Middle East, especially Egypt, are full of entrepreneurs living and working for a social cause. They want to change their communities, and all they need is support, appreciation and trust.