It all started with a common desire to partake in charitable events during their free time. After many attempts to help those in need, they identified a market gap and decided to be the ones to fill it.
As a result, two Egyptian students in their 20s joined forces and created Echo, an online website that helps volunteers identify charity organizations in need and help them know where, when and how to help. Using Echo’s search engine, volunteers are able to filter by location and category to find events, organizations, and initiatives that need their efforts and donations.
“Every winter break, I used to struggle to find a charitable event to volunteer at. It was difficult to find events/activities that were nearby and that targeted a certain community,” said Menna Ayman, co-founder of Echo.
“I then wondered why there weren’t any platforms that compiled all this information to make volunteering accessible to everyone” she added, explaining how she came up with the idea.
Months later, and by complete coincidence, Ayman found out that her friend Amina Badawi, co-founder of Echo, was working on the same initiative. After organizing a few charity events herself, Badawi was amazed by the overwhelming number of people who would want to participate.
“People would say they’re glad they came because they’re always looking to do something but they’re not sure of where to go, and the NGOs I worked with were always happy to receive large groups of volunteers,” Badawi said.
She added: “I realized that there’s a lack of communication between them, and that’s when the idea for Echo came up. I wanted to make giving back more accessible than it’s ever been. We have various platforms that enable people to help one another (e.g. Uber and Airbnb), so why aren’t we implementing such a powerful concept to help the people who need it the most?”
Brought together by their common goal to make the lives of volunteers easier and help charity organizations as much as possible, the two entrepreneurs launched Echo this Ramadan; giving Egyptians the chance to make the most of the holy month and help the less fortunate all year long. From donating money and old clothes to volunteering at events and organizations, Echo is a one-stop-shop that has changed the way Egyptians do good deeds forever.