the end of summer, high school and college graduates start thinking
about their next steps, whether that involves applying to college
or searching for a job.
One resource they can turn to is Bosletak, an online guide that helps Egyptian youth discover their interests and choose their educational or professional path.
The startup, founded in 2011 by Ahmad Al Noushoukati, a computer engineer from Alexandria, launched in 2012 to offer articles and visual content to guide students and graduates towards different colleges, universities and institutes in all over Egypt, while helping them make decisions.
Thanks to a financial support from Nahdet Al Mahrousa and Yahoo Maktoob, which granted it the ‘Social Innovation Starts from You’ award, the site has been able to grow its content to showcase video-recorded meetings with academics, experts and celebrities in various fields, to make the search process that much simpler.
Bosletak also provides different services such as an online forum, an information portal and interactive activities, where students can communicate and share their experiences. Among these are psychological tests students and graduates can take to analyse their personalities and help them choose what field is more suitable for them (not unlike the data matching service on FreshGrad, which was launched by a Lebanese entrepreneur but is not localized to the Middle East). These scientific tests have been approved by Tamheed and their evaluations are adopted by the Psychological British Society.
On the ground, the Bosletak founders are organizing events twice a year, one of which is a conference called "Know Your Way." Other events are targeted towards specific audiences, such as fathers explaining their jobs to children and colleagues during Father’s Day in school and other places.
Is it Profitable?
to ask about a startup like Bosletak is, how can it prevail and
generate money, if its services are seasonal, predominantly being
used over the summer?
The answer is training. The startup offers online training which subscribers can register for online. Next summer, the website will launch a job service that allows companies to pay fees for listing job postings, which will bring Bosletak into competition with typical job search sites like Bayt, Akhtaboot, Wuzzuf, and Laimoon, and skill search site Nabbesh.
Another question follows: why could companies want to post on Bosletak and not on a more famous recruiting website?
What makes Bosletak special is that it considers students as the main audience, unlike most others. Of estimated 3-5 million currently students in Egypt, according to the Information and Decision Support Center of the Egyptian Cabinet, Bosletak reaches about 2%, according to Al Noushoukati, who of course plans to reach more as the startup grows.
However the question remains, “Do companies really want to hire fresh graduates?” When looking at the majority of job postings, it is obvious that previous experience is necessary when applying to a job.