A Pioneer For Social Entrepreneurship

Dina Sherif cofounded Ahead of the Curve (ATC) in 2012 in response to the development challenges faced by the Arab region. Driven by the belief that a market-driven and financially viable approach is key to achieving sustainable development in the Arab World, Dina has forged an approach which demonstrates how sustainable private sector growth can generate decent employment opportunities, while social entrepreneurs can develop innovative and scalable solutions to longstanding challenges.

ATC is a social business dedicated to promoting sustainable management practice, inclusive market growth and social innovation across the Arab World. The company’s core activities span knowledge creation, capacity building and strategic consulting services in the fields of responsible and sustainable business practice, inclusive business, social entrepreneurship, and women’s leadership and economic participation.

To help ensure a more responsible and sustainable private sector, Dina works with companies to assess and enhance their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. Her work in this sphere includes supporting companies in conducting sustainability audits, and issue sustainability reports..

To drive the market toward social and inclusive business models in the region, Dina and ATC created a subsidiary, Entrepreneurship with Impact Ventures (EwIV), which offers a flagship training boot camp for social entrepreneurs titled ‘The Impact’. Building on design thinking and collaboration principles, The Impact provides the region’s budding social entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tools to develop, implement, and scale their idea for social change. So far, more than 120 entrepreneurs have taken part across Cairo, Dubai, Riyadh and Amman, and by the end of 2016, the company will have reached more than 250 entrepreneurs across the region. In response to the lack of funding for social enterprises in the Arab region, Dina Sherif also created the EwIV Fund, which invests in early stage social enterprises.

Through EwIV, Dina is now developing a ‘one-stop-shop’ for inclusive business in Egypt, to support big corporations to integrate citizens at the Base of the Pyramid into their supply chains as producers, employees, and customers. Launched in February 2016, the concept is developing thought leadership on inclusive business in Egypt. Furthermore, stemming from Dina’s firm belief that sustainable growth will only be possible if women are able to equitably access the labor market and advance within it, ATC launched a Women’s Leadership Network that provides a platform to connect, support and celebrate women leaders from the region.

Dina is active on a number of membership groups, including Egypt’s presidential advisory committee for economic affairs, and the Director of The American University in Cairo’s (AUC) Center for Entrepreneurship. Previously, Dina was the Associate Director of AUC’s John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement.

Dina’s work has been widely recognized, including being named a top 100 thought leader on responsible business practice in Europe and the Middle East by Trust America, receiving the Eisenhower Women’s Leadership Fellowship in 2015, and being awarded Egypt’s ‘Best Woman Entrepreneur’ by the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt in 2016.

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