Egyptian Pioneers Under 40

The Egyptian economy has always been a hospitable environment that nourishes novel ideas and supports their development. Throughout the last few years, several bright young minds have come up with brilliant business ideas that evolved into some of the most successful companies in the MENA region. This list gathers up the most distinguished pioneers under the age of 40, who have journeyed into success in entrepreneurship.

Omar Gabr & Moataz Soliman


Omar Gabr and Moataz Soliman are the Co-Founders of Instabug, which is the first software company in the Middle East to perform bug reporting, application performance monitoring and crash reporting. Gabr and Soliman are engineers who, worked on an application that can help programmers face technical difficulties. After several years of development, Forbes named Instabug as the number 1 startup in Egypt. In 2022, the company received a $46 million fund from Insight Partners.

Belal El-Megharbel


Belal El-Megharbel is the CEO & Founder of MaxAB, which is an e-commerce platform pioneering new ways for local merchants in Egypt and Morocco to grow and increase their revenue. He worked in Careem for a few years until deciding to establish MaxAB, which grew from an e-commerce platform to a fintech service that allows local merchants to receive payments for services. This consistent growth led to their merger with the Kenyan company Wasoko, and together they will have a combined customer base of 65 million consumers.

Omar Hagrass


Omar Hagrass is the Founder of Trella, which is a digital platform that connects shippers to carriers based on different requirements and capabilities. Moreover, the digital interface allows shippers to track shipments in real time, and report key insights on transportation trends and performance. Hagrass was previously a manager for Uber London until he founded Trella in 2019, in hopes of revolutionising the fields of logistics and supply chain in Egypt. The company expanded to several countries including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and UAE raising a total of $49 million.

Mahmoud Ibrahim


Mahmoud Ibrahim is the CEO & Founder of Homzmart, an e-commerce platform that sells furniture, home décor, and home supplies through a visualised community. Ibrahim graduated from the Faculty of Business, Ain Shams University in 2011, and worked for a while in Jumia before founding Homzmart in 2020. The company currently serves 25 million houses utilising the $40 million funding received in 2022.

Muhammad Gawish


Muhammad Gawish is the CEO & Founder of iSchool, an educational coding platform that targets students aged six to 18, making it the first of its kind in Egypt. The platform offers classes in artificial intelligence, data science, game development and virtual reality. Gawish is an electrical engineer who worked as an educational technology consultant before founding iSchool in 2018. Due to its continuous growth, iSchool now has more than 26,000 live learners and received $4.5 million in funding from Ireland’s VentureWave Capital.

Aya & Mounaz Abdelraouf


Aya and Mounaz are the Co-Founders of Okhtein, a luxury brand that specialises in fashionable accessories. They established the brand in 2014 with the goal of promoting Egyptian artistry and presenting new designs to the world. After a decade of expansion, Okthein has successfully established an international presence, as they got approached by retailers like Browns and Farfetch, and collaborated with the well-known brand Balmain. Moreover, their designs have been spotted on celebrities, including Beyoncé and Gigi Hadid.

Mostafa Menessy, Islam Shawky & Alain Al Hajj


Menessy, Shawky and Al Hajj are the Founders of Paymob, a payments infrastructure that facilitates digital payments methods to businesses of all sizes. They began their journey in 2013 launching an e-commerce platform that integrates a payment gateway into its structure with the goal of capitalising on the opportunities of the digital economy. Paymob is currently powering millions of transactions for over 200,000 businesses including SMEs and micro-businesses.

Mostafa Kandil


Mostafa Kandil is the CEO & Founder of Swvl, a provider of tech-enabled mass transit solutions to enhance their safety, reliability, and convenience. Kandil founded the company in 2017 to focus on booking cheap bus trips in the city – an unprecedented line of business in Egypt at the time. Swvl raised $42 million from venture capital firms in 2019, and the company started to expand to numerous countries such as Kenya and UAE. Currently, Swvl operates in 20 countries and is considered one of the most successful companies in Middle Eastern transportation industry.

Laila & Adel Sedky

NOLA Cupcakes

Laila and Adel Sedky are the Founders of NOLA Cupcakes, the first Egyptian cupcake store. It was founded in 2010 with the launch of its first store in Zamalek, with products focused on using high quality and fresh ingredients. The siblings are focused on being socially responsible by utilising NOLA’s income to develop local communities. The franchise went through a series of expansions and now operates 16 shops across Egypt’s premium districts.

Dara Ghosheh

Dara’s Ice Cream

Dara Ghosheh is the CEO of Dara’s Ice Cream, an ice cream franchise that uses fresh and local ingredients with no artificial flavours. Ghosheh graduated with a Mass Communication Bachelor’s degree from the American University in Cairo, before founding Dara’s Ice Cream in 2017. Throughout their years of operation, the company has opened eight ice cream parlours across Egypt. Dara’s Ice Cream opened their most recent branch in El Gouna in 2024, and they are currently planning to expand their operations with 21 new ice cream parlours.