Of all the cities in the world where the “green” movement is taking hold. Cairo, Egypt, a desert megalopolis of 17 million people, does not immediately come to mind. But don’t tell Shereen Allam.
Shereen, of Maadi, Cairo, is co-owner of Eco-Tek, an innovative printer cartridge recycling company she launched ten years ago with her husband, Mr. Ahmed Hegazy. Since then, she’s convinced scores of businesses, schools and universities all over Cairo to buy into the program, and the list of partners keeps growing.
It’s a win for Shereen and a win for the environment. Eco-Tek grows its business and Cairo is spared thousands of spent printer cartridges choking its landfills.
“I would love to start an environmental awareness campaign where all the official, nonprofit and individual parties get involved and a complete plant could be established to recycle all parts – plastics, metal, electronic parts, etc. This would develop the sense that by recycling you save lives, help society and generate money at the same time,” says Shereen.
With the same entrepreneurial drive that makes Eco-Tek a success, Shereen “gives back” to her country as president of AWTAD (Association for Women’s Total Advancement and Development). In just one year as a Network Hub in the MENA Businesswomen’s Network, the association grew its membership to over 50 in record time.
“We started off very small, and we wanted to work with businesses and other groups in an innovative way,” explains Shereen. “We also knew we could help in the development of civil society, particularly for women, in the areas of health, education and training, and entrepreneurship.”