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Alashanek Ya Balady 

Cairo, Egypt 

Dela IV Accelerator  
in partnership with Ashoka

AYB bridges the gap and creates employment opportunities for marginalised youth in Egypt 

Egypt's young population - those between 16 and 25 - holds immense potential to shape the nation's future. However, studies have shown alarming youth unemployment rates, with an estimated 25 per cent of men and 59 per cent of women without work. The root causes of this issue lie in lack of appropriate soft and technical skills, such as English proficiency and IT skills, which are crucial for employment opportunities. Additionally, there is a mismatch between the educational system's outcomes and the labour market's requirements, leaving youth ill-prepared for the job market. Marginalised youth, in particular, face the stigma of being "unemployable" due to negative experiences and perceptions by employers.  

This situation hampers economic growth and poses social threats, including crime, drug abuse, and alienation. 

AYB, short for Alashanek Ya Balady (For My Country), is an organisation dedicated to addressing the pressing issue of youth unemployment in Egypt. Led by Raghda El Ebrashi, AYB has developed a market-based sustainable model that caters to the needs of the business sector and marginalised youth, effectively bridging the gap between the social and business sectors while professionalising the citizen sector. 

 AYB emerged from a student club at the American University in Cairo, aiming to involve youth in development activities. Over time, it evolved into a citizen organisation with franchise student clubs in various universities across Egypt. AYB acts as an employment office, partnering with the corporate sector to select, train, and mentor employees from marginalised communities who lack access to the labour market. By identifying companies' needs, AYB tailors training programs to equip marginalised youth with the skills necessary to meet those requirements. 

To ensure sustainability, AYB follows a franchise system, allowing for the swift replication of its model and wider impact. For marginalised youth unable to find formal employment, the organisation creates income-generation opportunities in the informal sector, providing handicraft production training and microcredit and marketing training. AYB's social venture, Zaytoona, sells high-quality handmade products, challenging stereotypes about the capabilities of low-income people and demonstrating the ability of citizen organisations to compete in the market. 

AYB's innovative approach has positioned the organisation as a catalyst for change. By addressing youth unemployment and empowering marginalised communities, AYB is driving social and economic progress while reshaping the perceptions of the business sector towards low-skilled labour.  

Programme support 

AYB is committed to creating a brighter future for Egypt's youth and the nation, impacting around 2,000 direct and 8,000 indirect beneficiaries annually. Through Dela, we will support AYB to scale its impact through a new strategy focusing on formal vocational education in collaboration with the government and private sector.