Ismail Tammam


Two of every five Egyptian youth aged 20-24 suffer unemployment and abject poverty. And while 40% of Egyptians have entrepreneurial intentions only 2.9% manage to establish their businesses past the 3.5-year mark of regulated operation. The main reasons for this failure have been defined to be: the poor entrepreneurial education at all stages, the poor legal &commercial infrastructure, as well as lack of supportive government programmes. The proposed solution is a three-stage process; it begins with formulating a ‘matrix model’, which is a detailed workplan for the transfer of an entrepreneurial idea from concept to a sustainable business, then developing a successful alpha product line that would allow business operation &sustenance, and then giving room for research and development of new similar products by incubating entrepreneurial ideas that can be turned into profitable product lines later on. The matrix model is the product-customised version of “Egyptian Ecosystem Theory of Change” by Saeed et al, 2015. The alpha product proposed is a flooring tile created from cleaned and shredded trash at the AUC Sustainable Development labs by heat-pressing plastics as a binder and redbrick as a filler, to create an environmentally friendly product line, then the tile is set to be tested against relevant ASTM standards for flooring tiles. Then, the proposed business model is to use part of the revenue to sponsor research and development, provided it is based on the ‘private incubator’ model. The idea is seen to positively impact the society by providing employment for the young entrepreneurs, the economy by boosting production and investment opportunities, as well as the environment by encouraging a recycling economy. This conforms with sustainable development goal number 8.6 which promotes substantially reducing the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training.

Degree Name

MS in Sustainable Development

Graduation Date


Submission Date

January 2018

First Advisor

Nassar, Khaled

Committee Member 1

ElHaggar, Salah

Committee Member 2

Galal, Samia


116 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


Upon the completion of this study, it is worth noting that without the support of my close community nothing much would have come out of it, and though my gratitude extends to my community, special thanks and mention is due to the closes few; To my supervising AUC professors Khaled Nassar &Salah El-Haggar for their patience with my stubbornness and indecisiveness, and to the Centre for Sustainable Development (Dr Hani &Khaled) who count me as an ambassador for sustainability and who made me so stubborn when it comes to sustainable development in the first place. Also, to Dr Hanadi Salem &Eng. Dina for helping me with AUC tests, and finally Salah from the library and Rasheed from the writing centre. To Adham who helped me formulate the hypothesis, to Doaa who helped me formulate the product concept, to Michael, Aya &Menna who helped me test the product at my alma mater Ain Shams University, and to Mazen for helping me with the business plan. I’m not sure if I can claim to have finished any bit totally on my own, but I guess one calls them friends for a reason! To the support of the rest of my partners in crime Reham, Hesham, Mostafa, Fahad, Nina, Alia, and the rest of the gang. But perhaps most of all to Al-Alfi foundation for their financial aid through the sustainable development fellowship, and my parents for their unwavering support and patience.