With concerns over sexual harassment and safety, many women and girls in Egypt rely on relatives or close friends to teach them how to drive.
However, with the launch of Direxiona, women in Egypt now have the opportunity to learn the basics of driving independently without major concerns.
Direxiona aims to empower women who want to learn how to drive by using an online platform to match them to female driving instructors. It is essentially a driving platform and community for women by women.
Founded by Nayrouz Talaat, the idea behind Direxiona was transformed into a real business after the team behind it joined a number of local entrepreneurial programs. These programs showed the founders how the spread of technological adoption in Egypt and the high use of smart mobile phones can result in the potential success of an online platform to the empowerment of women.
Talaat found inspiration for Direxiona from witnessing many successful examples in the same field such as Uber, Careem and Pink Taxi. Those successful ventures started small but grew because they were solving a problem and providing a solution that society was searching for.
In Egypt, Talaat found that there was a larger number of girls and women who wanted to learn how to drive and to be more independent but could not do so. Beyond safety concerns, this is mainly because the number of female instructors is low and they are difficult to find and contact.
“Our main vision is to empower large numbers of girls on the road, and make them feel more confident through our community that we hope will continue to grow successfully,” Talaat said.
Some of the difficulties faced by the founders were finding people who are both qualified and passionate about the idea.
“Conversion from an idea to an actual business included a lot of finance, managerial and legal techniques that must be set forth at the beginning as ignoring any of them makes you lose either money or time,” Talaat added.
As for the future, Direxiona is seeking to enter partnerships with all key players related to driving and automobiles in Egypt. They are also working on leading the service to be solely technology-based and delivering the idea of driving through technological tools to raise the performance of the trainers.
When asked what advice she would give to others with new ideas, Talaat said the most important thing is to not give up.
“I advise them to not give up easily, because owning a business and making it grow is not easy at all. It needs time management,” said Talaat.
“Be a leader and a believer in what you are doing and stay persistent if you find more and more obstacles. Problems are not solved by giving up.”