EWI Embraces a Budding Entrepreneur, Amal Youssef

We were very pleased to have  Amal, as our fellow through the Hands Along the Nile Development Services, Inc. (HANDS) Professional Fellowship Program: Economic Empowerment for Women. Funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, this program  aims to strengthen the leadership capacity and professional skills of professionals from Egypt and Tunisia engaged with organizations and institutions dedicated to promoting the economic empowerment of women and build bridges between similar organizations and professionals in the US.

Amal’s time here was devoted to presenting her with opportunities for professional growth, building knowledge and skills as well as fellowship. and community engagement. As an entrepreneur, with a emerging non-profit organization devoted to women’s empowerment and development, EWI is very thrilled to be apart of her  journey.

Amal with EWI President & Executive Director Marga Fripp
                                        Amal with EWI President & Executive Director Marga Fripp

”  I  learned so many things but the most important would be that when there is great management with fantastic teamwork between staff work is successfully done. I found that there is a strong sense of community, including the entrepreneurs who volunteer their time to give back and carry out EWI’s mission.”

About Amal

Amal is originally from Egypt and currently lives in Cairo. She graduated from Helwan University in Egypt  with a degree in Applied Arts as well as a Master’s degree in Outdoor advertisement. She also received a Diploma in Coptic arts, coptic means Christians in Egypt and the style of art art is found in Coptic churches in Egypt and around the world.

Amal enjoys traveling, handmade crafts, social and volunteer work with NGOs and churches, as well as  photography. She has traveled to many parts of Europe, Asia and Africa for various reasons including youth exchange programs. This is her first time visiting a country where the native language is English.

Like EWI, Amal has been dedicated to achieving economic empowerment amongst women since for many years. She has taken on various roles in projects designed to train women inside and outside of Egypt. Amal’s love and belief in the role of women in changing the community as well as strengthening women’s belief in her own rights and skills, led her to start Intilaqah Center 2013.

Amal’s Vision

imageUsing informal education and creative methods, Itilaquah Center offers courses, and workshops in handmade crafts to help women develop soft skills, and tap into their creative potential.

A student at an Intilaqah Center Jewelry making workshop
A student at an Intilaqah Center Jewelry making workshop

Much like EWI, Itilaquah Center is helping women turn their hobbies into something more by providing the with tools and skills to establish, run, and sustain micro businesses . The center is also a safe space for the exchange of ideas, discussion, meeting new people helping others and much more.

Learning and Growing with EWI

Amal assisting with our direct mail project!
      Amal assisting EWI intern, Abby Tremain with our direct mail initiative

Through her fellowship Amal was able to learn how to deal with the challenges that she faces in taking her organization to the next level. Itilaqah is very important to Amal and her passion for helping women in Egypt to become self-sufficient, is truly inspiring. Amal came to EWI with an open-mind and high hopes for the experience she would have here.

              Amal in a coaching session with EWI alum, Aida Mady of Cooking & Beyond

While she was here Amal worked hard to build up her organization, and make connections that would point her in the right direction. She  attended Entrepreneur Training for Success classes to help with her business plan and structure as well as strengthen her leadership capacity; met EWI entrepreneurs and hear their stories of transformation; received coaching from EWI s Founder & Executive Director  Marga Fripp and EWI Board Member, Howie Feinstein;  and shadowed EWI interns and staff to learn about ways in which she can better reach the goals she has made for her organization. She had the opportunity to visit Ten Thousand Villages, Aid to Artisans, and the Torpedo Factory for artistic enrichment that can be applied to her handmade crafts courses.

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Amal having a good time with EWI entrepreneurs, Sushmita, Sharmila. Loredana, Edith as well as EWI staff member, Mary 

This was also an opportunity for  cultural exchange. As Amal learned about how business is conducted in the US, we also had the opportunity to learn more about Egypt. Amal was also able to explore the DC metropolitan area, taking in the sites and sounds from the Kennedy Center and The Ford’s Theatre to the Fenton Street Market.

Amal with EWI's Regional Program Manger, Kim Booher and EWI Interns Rashida and Abby
Amal with EWI Staff, Kim Booher and EWI Interns Rashida Moore and Abby Tremain

We hope that Amal left  with a better understanding of how to properly establish her organization, utilizing social media to market her organization and events,  as well as networking domestically and internationally to make her dreams a reality. We expect great things from Amal and Intilaqah Center, and plan to support her through her journey as a change-maker, and entrepreneur .

Written by Brianna Pippens, Marketing and Communications Intern

Women’s Empowerment, a Cross-Cultural Vision
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