A key goal of the Foundation of Democratic and Social Peace Studies, part of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, is to ensure young people leave school with the skills they need to secure their futures. To help achieve this goal, the Foundation has become the first certified HP LIFE training center in the country.
“Providing our students with access to programs like HP LIFE e-Learning is absolutely key,” says Mohamed Megahed, an HP LIFE e-Learning master trainer who has taught 40 trainers in eight governorates across Egypt, in addition to Cairo and Alexandria. “Our trainers come from a wide variety of educational institutions where they teach subjects from social work to technology,” says Mohamed, “I show them how HP LIFE e-Learning’s online curricula can be used to enhance face-to-face teaching and help students extend their learning beyond the classroom. To date, our trainers have taught almost 6,000 students across Egypt using the program.”
An innovative, online training program, HP LIFE e-Learning is designed for students, entrepreneurs, and small-business owners to develop their IT and business skills.
The program’s 25 modules cover core business categories such as finance, marketing, operations and communications, plus special topics such as social entrepreneurship, strategic planning and effective leadership to support 21st century skills development. The program, which is available in seven languages including Arabic, also offers a range of additional features including certification, advice and access to a global online community.
Mohammed Fathy, Program Consultant at the Foundation, adds, “Geographic outreach is not easy, especially when you have limited resources. However, our trainers have managed to disseminate the program successfully in a number of remote areas, reaching out to marginalized beneficiaries. By collaborating with private and government organizations, we are using HP LIFE e-Learning to create a positive impact across Egypt.”
Hamdy Abd Elghany, a mentor at the foundation, can attest to the program’s success firsthand. Hamdy recently mentored Mahmoud Hassanein and Mahdy Dagha, two aspiring entrepreneurs, who dreamt of turning their passion for cars into a business providing motor oil changes for customers.
“When I met them, Mahmoud and Mahdy had already started to lay the foundations for their business,” says Hamdy. “They had chosen a name, found a business premise and agreed to be equal partners. They had also begun decorating the workspace and purchasing equipment. But they soon realized they needed to get the financial side of their business under control”.
Mahmoud explains, “We had the business premise. We knew what we wanted to buy but we had no idea how to organize our expenditure, set prices and calculate costs. We didn’t know when we would reach breakeven much less when we would make a profit”.
Hamdy introduced them to HP LIFE e-Learning and suggested they start with the Basics of Finance course. Like all HP LIFE e-Learning courses, Basics of Finance uses a realistic narrative scenario to introduce learners to the key business concepts associated with the topic.
“We found the course format made it easy to understand the concepts we were learning about,” says Mahmoud. “We quickly realized we would need to create a detailed spreadsheet outlining our start-up, variable and fixed costs before we could start to calculate breakeven and profit. The course gave us the skills to develop the accurate financial plans and detailed cost analysis we needed to understand the revenue streams that would bring us the best profit.”
Mahmoud and Mahdy are now positive about the future. “HP LIFE e-Learning has been a great help to our business,” says Mahmoud, “We know if we stick to our plan and monitor our costs closely we will reach breakeven in 16 months – we would not have known that with HP LIFE e-Learning”.