Egyptian Entrepreneur Opens All-Female Driving SchoolPosted on Dec 05, 2019 by admin| Blog
When Egyptian journalist Nayrouz Talaat deiced it was time to learn to drive she quickly encountered an issue common to women seeking to drive in Egypt, all of the driving instructors were male, which left her feeling vulnerable and uncomfortable.
Not wanting to spend time in a car with a man she had no connection with, she turned to her uncle to teach her how to drive. After discussing this with female friends and relatives, she discovered that this was the norm, rather than the exception.
Because of a variety of circumstances, Egyptian women did not feel comfortable taking part in the male-dominated driving instruction system and instead were relying on family members. IF there was no close family member to teach them, they were simply not learning to drive.
Determined to do something about this, Nayrouz decided to buck the system and open her own, all-female, driving school.
Direxiona opened in 2016, employing female driving instructors and teaching female students exclusively. The fledgling startup used social media to match students with instructors, who were matched up based on age and social class to make sure everyone was as comfortable as possible.
In addition to on-the-road lessons, Talaat and her team offer training sessions and classes on car maintenance and road safety.
The school has been incredibly popular in Egypt and now employs 50 female instructors and serves at least 100 students each month, a figure Nayrouz expects to triple by 2020. In addition to Egyptians, Direxiona has also been attracting leaners from Saudia Arabia, where women were only granted the right to drive in 2018.
In the past year, Direxiona has also competed in startup competitions and summits in Egypt and parts of Europe, picking up mentors for Talaat and her team.
Perhaps inevitably, the growing size and popularity of Direxiona has attracted backlash from the more conservative portions of Egyptian society. Local conservative men have been condemning Direxiona or questioning its legitimacy.
In response, Nayrouz has simply let the success of the business speak for itself. She’s currently focused on raising capital to expand across cities, increase the number of services offered and create an automated booking system that utilizes artificial intelligence to produce better driver-student matches.
In her words “At Direxiona, we know very well that it is hard to maintain the success of a women-only startup in a conservative, male-dominated society like Egypt. But we are adamant about completing our mission to empower women here — both in the region and on the road.”
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