Five colors – five ideas – a good cause – uCrowd. As entrepreneurship is heading for a high in Egypt, uCrowd is a startup that lacks one thing: competitors. The reason for that is easy to identify: the message it holds does not seem to be connected to what it offers – at first glance at least.
23-year-old GUC-graduate Mahmoud Wafik Sabae is the Founding Partner and CIO of uCrowd. With the slogan “uCrowd, weDeliver”, the startup aims at spoiling its members, while giving 10% of whatever purchases are made to Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Sabae declares: “We want social impact.”
In order to understand uCrowd, one has to comprehend the website “color by color”. “Purple” stands for exclusive offers and services from brands, restaurants, cafés, gyms etc. “Blue” stands for “career boost” or differently said: job and internship offers. “Green” stands for earning money, managing money and getting governmental papers online. “Yellow” stands for special offers on trips and travels. “Red” stands for “Contributing to your country” or differently said: NGOs.
So briefly, these are the services uCrowd offers its members at 200LE/three months.
Being also the founder of eSeed, Sabae partnered up with Mohamed Salama and Ahmed ElNaggar to build up a portal (uCrowd) that would benefit NGOs and promote volunteerism in Egypt, while at the same time, offer their customers discounts.
“We wanted to get away from the exclusive-card-system and the Dare’n’Deal system, and yet, spoil the members with more stuff,” Sabae explained. “We are going to pamper you as a member and at the same time, your existence on our website benefits NGOs. If you make more than 1000LE a month, then 20% of whatever you make will go to an NGO of your choice.”
“uCrowd shall introduce to you the culture of NGOs, donations and funding,” he adds. Currently, uCrowd is still in the beta-version and has only four NGOs registered, since the founders want to focus on NGOs involved in sustainable development that either just started or have trouble getting money. Fully established NGOs will be added in the future, when there are enough members that can support a big amount of organizations. Other NGOs will be added gradually.
Keen to cover all segments of society, uCrowd has two subscription-packages: uCrowdPro (400LE/3 months to enjoy all services) and uCrowdMini (200LE/year to enjoy offers and trips and vote for NGOs that deserve support). “We made this because we found that there is a segment of society that we need to cover, who really want to help NGOs but cannot afford it in that sense,” Sabae stated.
uCrowd is also built on the idea of crowd-funding. Upon subscription, the user receives his personal ATM-card from ElAhly Bank and the more of his / her friends join, the more percentages he / she gets from their subscriptions. Often being associated with QNet, Sabae explains that his project does not rely on a pyramid-scheme but rather defies such marketing-conducts. (For more information on that, visit: ucrowd.net/faq)
“We want uCrowd to be the #1 socially enabled service provider. To be that, we need to grow a lot bigger of course, get more people involved and get more interesting partners, of course. If it proves successful, we are planning to expand to different countries,” Sabae explains. “When the website is good-to-go – which will hopefully be mid-April - we’re going to have booths in some universities, and more aggressively publicize in social media.”
uCrowd holds a new perspective on how to promote volunteerism and spread the message of indirect, but active contribution in Egypt. If successful, this startup will definitely move the country towards better living standards and create an aware society of “spoiled”, but responsible human beings.
What is asked of Egyptians now is to think in colors and start moving.
Another salute to Egypt's entrepreneurs.
You can find uCrowd here: uCrowd.net