Leila*, 19, has a soft, rasping voice and sad eyes. Her face is striped with long scars but nothing in her neat appearance hints that for the last nine years, her ‘home’ has been the streets just north of downtown Cairo.
The group of buildings near Tahrir Square could be modern campus-style office space anywhere. It’s hard to believe that just outside the heavy steel gates lies downtown Cairo, the noisy, polluted and now troubled heart of Egypt.
The Middle East has some of the best and worst education systems in the world and they are attracting the attention of entrepreneurs keen to make a difference – and a buck.
Evidence is mounting to suggest women entrepreneurs are more common in the Middle East than in startup capital Silicon Valley, and some even say it’s a more supportive place for them to start a business.
The young couple inspecting Dr Bassem Elhelw’s Cairo Fertility Clinic knew what they wanted from him: a baby boy. They also knew they wanted the child by in vitro fertilisation (IVF).