Young Egyptian business man turns waste into gold

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Business man in Egypt recycles scrap e-waste to earn his living

A young Egyptian man has made his mark in the world of business after a television program about electronic waste recycling inspired a multi-million pound business idea.

Mostafa Hemda was studying engineering at university when he entered a competition for entrepreneurship, held by non-profit organisation Injaz Egypt, to win £7,000 to invest in a start-up business.

While Mr Hemda was researching options, he chanced upon a television program about electronic waste which was to change his life forever. The program was a documentary which focused upon electronic recycling and the possibilities of extracting the metals from mother boards, which contain a mixture of silver, gold, platinum and copper.

Mr Hemda said: “It was a booming industry in Europe and the US, but no one in the Middle East was doing it.”

The 25-year-old began his business, Recyclobekia (from the Egyptian Arabic “roba bekya”, meaning “old stuff”), in 2011 from the garage of his parents’ house, located about 57 miles from Cairo, the capital of Egypt. The business was receiving massive orders from Hong Kong even before the Injaz Egypt competition had been finalised.

Now, five years later, Mr Hemda is recycling more than £1.7million electronic waste with a team of 20 employees working out of four warehouses in the capital city.

The successful business man, who has an international customer base, has suffered his fair share of setbacks through the short years – business, social and civil – but he is now determined to grow his business even further.

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