By Nayera Yasser
Finding the right workers is a common struggle to many residents in Egypt, with one of the country’s problems being widespread, insufficient labourers. The emergence of new cities has only increased the essential problem, often causing a serious issue.
Ten members from Enactus Cairo University (Enactus CU) worked all year long to bring an end to this dilemma. The innovative students searched for the real reasons behind this gap between labourers and residents.
The team was keen on filling up the gap solely through technology.
Whilst word of mouth is the key to any business, finding nearby labourers was also a key concern. Accordingly, the team took a technological detour through a mobile application and an online database.
“We visited the selected areas, the Fifth Settlement and 6th of October City, to conduct surveys and collect information to assess the residents’ needs,” said Project Leader Mahmoud Abdelaal Mowafy.
The team began with a closer look at the problem itself, in order to attract and satisfy their future users. Based on the first phase, the team proceeded to a much more complicated step: that of collecting labour data.
“In the next phase, we searched for the areas that house a high number of labourers, visited them and started collecting their data including their names, contact info, availability for home visits and working hours/days,” said Mowafy.
“Herafy” is Enactus CU’s first mobile application – but, with the help of a few professionals, the developing phase went smoothly and rapidly.
“The idea behind the application itself plus its design, UX and UI were all conducted by us. But we needed someone to do the coding for the android and IOS applications, also we needed to create a backend that is linked to the labours’ database,” Mowafy explained.
For a professional feel and performance, the team hired two developers to help them with the needed technicalities. Just like that, the idea came to light and the android app and the website were launched to the public.
Both the application and the website share the same simple and basic design, which gives the users the ability to search for the needed labour, in addition to evaluating the ones they have dealt with.
“The design features 12 categories including electricians, plumbers, tailors, mechanics, carpenters, blacksmith, painters, ironing services, satellite technicians, glass makers, cooker technicians, and transportation,” said Mowafy.
According to Mowafy, the team does not evaluate anyone, instead depending on the users’ evaluation and recommendation. Nonetheless, the team does interfere when users add new workers.
“When a user adds a new labourer, we get a notification, and accordingly we validate this new worker to make sure the added info is correct, then confirm the action and add him to the database,” Mowafy said.
After launching the application only a few days ago, the team is currently working on the IOS version, which will follow shortly, and they are also planning on adding new neighbourhoods.
As for the project’s sustainability, according to Mowafy, they are searching for a new company or sponsor that can afford to cover the cost of developing and maintaining it in the future.
Enactus is a worldwide non-profit organisation that aims at empowering students for a better future. The NGO is present in 36 countries where the participating students work on finding smart solutions to develop their communities. The entity encourages the students to be active entrepreneurs, capable of creating job opportunities and changing negative stereotypes in their countries.
All projects worldwide have to impact the beneficiaries according to three different aspects which meet the organisation’s standards: economic; environmental; and social. Every year, each country holds a national competition that qualifies a winning team for the world cup.
Egypt has more than 36 active teams in different universities across the country. Cairo University’s team was founded in 2006 under the supervision of Faculty of Political Sciences. In 2011, Cairo University became the only governmental university in Egypt to reach the world cup.