Celebrating ten years of partnership

2009 marked the beginning of a ten-year partnership between Alfanar and SODIC which has seen our joint investment in 9 social enterprises. SODIC's significant and continued support has helped directly impact 22,000 lives in sectors ranging from women's employment in textile production to preschool education, and recently to housing improvement microloans to widows.

The Alfanar-SODIC partnership goes beyond that of a simple funding relationship. Together, we work to identify social investments, set strategies with them, build their capacities, and develop their business plans. This has led to a portfolio of curated venture philanthropy investments across Egypt and marks an important shift in how philanthropy is practiced in Egypt.

We recently celebrated 10 years of partnership with SODIC at our summer reception in London on June 11th 2019. Addressing the audience, SODIC's Senior Public Relations Manager Nadine Okasha captured the essence of ourpartnership, saying:

Through our partnership with Alfanar SODIC has grown to deeply believe in venture philanthropy. Over the years we have developed a real conviction that is it the only way forward, especially in countries like Egypt where the potential is so vast and the resources cannot keep up.
Operating from a business mindset it is exciting for us to work with social enterprises that are geared towards achieving profit, growing revenue streams and eventually recovering their costs, allowing us to move on to new projects. Alfanar's unwavering commitment to changing the way we all conceive of helping those in need makes it easy to get behind them.

 

One of our flagship investments has been with Educate Me. Started by Yasmin Helal in 2010, this began as a small, informal, after-school support programme. By any measure, this was a venture full of risk. SODIC and Alfanar however assessed positively the strength of the backable chief executive, her team and her model. Over the last four years we have given Educate Me the platform and the financial security needed to formalise its community preschool and school in Talbeya now reaching 288 children, to hire and train teachers from the community, and to launch a unique educator training programme now shifting the quality of education delivered across 152 public schools in 9 governorates and reaching over 45,000 children.

Today, our support, combined with Educate Me's tenacious drive and spirit, has transformed this social enterprise into a multi-million Egyptian pound organisation that advises the government, impacts thousands of children and teachers per year, and is working towards its financial sustainability.

 

In 2019, SODIC is working with Alfanar not just to grow promising social enterprises, but to build the foundations for a social investment movement that can affect education and opportunity for a growing number of vulnerable women, children and youth in Egypt. This goes beyond simple corporate social responsibility, to a true investment in our society and the problems affecting it. Alfanar has provided SODIC with the tools and channels to make a lasting change in Egypt.

Together, we look forward to another 10 years of creating even greater sustainable impact.

* In 2019 SODIC's support to Alfanar is backing our investments in Educate Me, BTCP, and Future Eve Foundation's microloans for housing improvement in southern Minya. We are grateful for both SODIC's financial and strategic support.