Solar Sustainability in Egypt
An innovative start-up in Egypt provides a means for local farmers to use clean solar energy on their farms.
Laura El-Tantawy is an Egyptian photographer. She was born in Worcestershire, England, to Egyptian parents and grew up between Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United States. A graduate of the University of Georgia with dual degrees in journalism and political science, she started her career in 2002 as a newspaper photographer with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Sarasota Herald Tribune. In 2006, she became a freelance photographer so she could focus on pursuing personal projects.
Ahmed Zahran, 34, is one of the founders of Karmsolar, an Egyptian solar energy business aimed at offering farmers and other people a cheap, reliable and environmentally friendly alternative to diesel powered generators.
To demonstrate what its systems can do, it has turned an area of formerly arid desert around its company’s headquarters at Bahareyah Oasis, 370 kilometers west of Cairo, into a model farm irrigated with groundwater supplied by one of its solar-powered pumping stations.
The company, whose name means “fruitful vine” in Arabic, was set up in 2011. One of its key long-term goals is to develop ways of allowing entire communities to live “off the grid” in a sustainable manner.
Text and photographs by Laura El-Tantawy
The Other Hundred is a unique photo-book project aimed telling the stories of people around the world who are not rich but who deserve to be celebrated.
The Other Hundred Entrepreneurs: 100 Faces, Places, Stories — the second volume in The Other Hundred series — focuses on the world’s everyday entrepreneurs. It captures the reality that small and medium-sized businesses, rather than tech billionaires or elite MBAs, contribute the majority of the world’s jobs, including half of all jobs in Africa and two-thirds in Asia.
The book offers an alternative to the view that most successful entrepreneurs were trained at elite business schools. Here are people who have never written a formal business plan, hired an investment bank, planned an exit strategy or dreamt of a stock market floatation. Some work for themselves, others employ a few people, still others a few hundred.