In the pulsing heart of Egypt, where fashion intertwines with ambition, Esperanza, under the visionary leadership of Mohammad Magdy, stands as a beacon of inclusive entrepreneurship. Magdy, the Executive Director of Esperanza, recently shared his insights during the “Jobs through Trade and Investment: Boosting Employment in the Southern Mediterranean” event in Brussels, supported by the government of Sweden, a key donor of the International Trade Centre’s MENATEX programme.
A Symphony of Challenges and Triumphs
Magdy’s passion for empowering women and young entrepreneurs resonates deeply within Esperanza’s corridors. The company has successfully navigated the path of inclusive entrepreneurship, overcoming challenges and celebrating triumphs. Magdy paints a vivid picture of Esperanza’s success stories, especially in promoting women to leadership positions.
“In Esperanza, we have had a rewarding experience depending on qualified women in various sectors, including administration and production. The key lies in mentoring, guiding, and instilling confidence in these women, showcasing that they can rise beyond traditional roles,” Magdy reflects.
He highlights the journey of women who started as skilled operators and, with meticulous mentoring, evolved into senior supervisors, overcoming technical and soft skill challenges. Despite facing initial issues these women exhibited eagerness to learn, appreciation for mentorship, and a precise application of policies and procedures. Challenges persisted, requiring communication with families to ensure support for the women navigating both work and home responsibilities. Yet, the results were transformative — a testament to the power of mentorship, dedication, and a supportive work culture.
A Talent Reservoir of Ambitious Graduates
Esperanza’s commitment to inclusivity extends to embracing the energy and potential of young graduates. Magdy shares the company’s experience in hiring fresh, ambitious minds, believing in the youth as the driving force of Egypt’s promising future.
The statistics speak for themselves – the Merchandising team boasts an average age of 28, with 60% being women. Pattern makers, planning specialists, the deputy Knitting Department manager, and the R&D section all showcase a vibrant workforce under 30, demonstrating Esperanza’s dedication to fostering the next generation of leaders.
However, supervising and mentoring such a dynamic group brings its own set of challenges, requiring extra effort and a delicate balance to maintain a healthy competitive environment.
Creating a Supportive Ecosystem: Esperanza’s Secret Sauce
Esperanza’s success is not confined to promoting talent but extends to creating a work environment that nurtures stability and loyalty. With an impressive turnover rate of 8%, well below the industry average, the company has become synonymous with job security and contentment. Magdy attributes this success to several approaches ingrained in Esperanza’s culture:
- A healthy operating environment with air-conditioned production floors and clean workplaces.
- Fair wages, social and health insurances.
- Personalized attention to every employee through HR specialists stationed within production floors.
- A culture where every member counts, fostering a sense of belonging.
This supportive ecosystem not only ensures the well-being of current employees but also serves as a compelling magnet for jobseekers.
Magdy’s Gratitude to GTEX/MENATEX and Sida’s Recognition
Magdy expresses his appreciation for the transformative support provided by GTEX/MENATEX. The collaboration has not only enhanced Esperanza’s commitment to inclusivity and mentorship but has also allowed them to showcase their successes on a global stage. Sida, recognizing the potential and impactful results achieved by MENATEX, selected it as one of the beacon programmes they invest in.
“To be recognized by Sida and selected as one of their beacon programmes is an honour and a testament to the dedication of the entire Esperanza team. It reflects the potential and positive outcomes we have achieved, serving as an inspiration for others,” acknowledges Magdy.
As Esperanza continues to shape the future of inclusive entrepreneurship, Magdy’s journey stands as a testament to the immense impact that strategic collaboration, mentorship, and recognition can have on empowering women and young entrepreneurs. Through GTEX/MENATEX and the support of Sida, Esperanza is not just weaving fabrics; they are weaving dreams and transforming lives.
Magdy concludes with a heartfelt “Thanks, Appreciated,” acknowledging the platform that allows their story to inspire a broader audience. The stage is set, and Esperanza’s narrative is a symphony of empowerment, resilience, and the boundless possibilities that arise when talent meets opportunity.
About the GTEX/MENATEX Programme
The Global Textiles and Clothing Programme (GTEX) and its related work in the Middle East and North Africa (MENATEX) supports small and medium-sized enterprises and business support organizations working in the textile and clothing industry in developing countries to increase their export competitiveness.
The GTEX/MENATEX programme is funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the Swiss Confederation and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), focusing on six priority countries (Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Tunisia).
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Trade Centre.