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Egypt’s Direxiona Wins EUR 50,000 In AFD Digital Challenge Competition

With the prize, Direxiona plans to expand in cities around the capital.

Egypt’s Direxiona platform, a startup that empowers women through driving lessons, won first prize in the AFD Digital Challenge competition which was a EUR 50,000 cash prize.

The award was granted by the AFD, France’s inclusive public development bank, under the title “Digital Challenge Success” for two African startups at a value of 50,000 euros per each. The winning startups had to be in the expansion phase and demonstrating an outstanding ability to scale up and develop.

“Direxiona has made 10,000 driving sessions so far; our service providers reached 100 female instructors,” founder and CEO Nayrouz Talaat tells Startup Scene. “Our forthcoming plan is to expand to new cities mainly those near Cairo, in addition to increasing the number of driving sessions to 50,000 by the end of 2019 and the number of female driving instructors.”

Founded in 2017, the Cairo-based startup Direxiona aims to support more 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.

The competition is mainly aiming to promote entrepreneurial initiatives managed by women and/or men, tackling the challenges of women's inclusion and gender inequalities – whether social, economic, cultural or political – and leveraging digital innovation for their development.

Through a network of 85 field offices, the AFD currently finance, monitor, and assist more than 2,500 development projects in 108 countries in sectors of energy, healthcare, biodiversity, water, digital technology, and professional training.

About 15 applications were short-listed by AFD experts from among the 300 received, based on their relevance, sustainability and impact on development. A panel of judges made up of six digital technology experts then whittled this list down to choose the five winning projects.


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