Camp was an amazing experience for me. When I returned home to Egypt and was asked about it, I used to say that I got 10 years’ worth of life experience from the Seeds of Peace Camp. Carrying the weight of representing my country in a very competitive environment at a young age, and the challenge of earning the respect of your enemy, stimulated many parts of my character to grow early.
I was also amazed by how quickly Camp to me went from “going to fight with my enemy about who is right” to making close friends from the other side; realizing that there is a difference between people and governments; and discovering the power of dialogue and the importance of seeing things from the other’s perspective.
How have you impacted your community?
I started a renewable energy company in Egypt with some of my MIT classmates. We are developing solar energy technology that is catered for Egypt and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. In addition, we are developing new business models for a group of established and proven clean energy technologies on the market to accelerate their adoption in the region.
Renewable energy is going to transform the economies of MENA countries and lead to stronger integration between their energy infrastructures in the next 10 years, and we are planning to play a large role in that transformation.
Moreover, I am very passionate about mentoring entrepreneurs in Egypt. I founded SPARK! in 2007, an organization that equips youth with the tools and skills they need to turn their ideas into startups or social ventures. SPARK! has programs for high school students, college students and fulltime entrepreneurs. SPARK! has also helped many of its participants gain admission to top universities; last year alone we had three participants admitted at MIT.
• BSc, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 2009
• Yahoo! Top 9 Social Entrepreneurs in Egypt
• Onsi Sawiris full scholarship to MIT
“Renewable energy is going to transform the economies of MENA countries and lead to stronger integration between their energy infrastructures in the next 10 years, and we are planning to play a large role in that transformation...
“I also founded an organization called SPARK! to develop a new generation of young innovators and entrepreneurs in Egypt who will act as catalysts in their society and help craft an entrepreneurial ecosystem.”