Detailed Frequently Asked Questions

1. What exactly is El Mashrou3?

El Mashrou3 is Egypt’s first reality TV competition about entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs. It is a competition that will air on a major TV Network this Spring. We will choose 16 top entrepreneurs in Egypt and make a TV show about them. Everyone who participates will have the opportunity to win a bunch of different prizes, including real support to launch their projects and a grand cash prize for the main winner.

2. Who is eligible for applying?

The competition is open to any Egyptian between the ages of 21 to 35 years old who have one or some of the following:

  • a start-up business or a social project
  • an early stage or small business that you want to grow or change
  • an idea for a project that you haven’t started yet, but have taken some tangible steps to get off the ground
  • an informal business that is not registered that you want to grow or change

If your mashrou3 has the potential to do one of these things, you are awesome:

  • make money
  • create jobs
  • have a social or environmental impact

If your Mashrou3 does two or all three of these things, then you are even more awesome!

We are especially looking for women and people who live outside of Cairo.

3. How do I apply for El Mashrou’?

Applications begin on October 1 and close on October 31 2012. You can email your applications to Casting@elmashrou3.tv

4. Will I be notified in case of being shortlisted? What is a video casting?

Shortlisted applicants will be notified via email or phone. Once you’ve been shortlisted you’ll be asked to participate in a phone interview and/or a video audition and/or upload a 2-minute video of yourself. If you make it through the first round, we will contact you again for a video casting.

In a video casting, someone from our office will come to your house, community or work place and make a short video of you and your friends/family/co-workers that will NOT be broadcast. It is for internal use only. At this time, we’ll also discuss the requirements of the TV program more in depth with you and answer any questions you or your family may have about participating.

5. How long do I have to be available for?

Filming will start in January and will continue through March. You have to be available for the whole time period, but we will not be filming you every day.

6. Will I be compensated if I get chosen for the show?

Yes, you will receive a modest monetary compensation or stipend if you are chosen to be a contestant on the show. The money should not be your main objective for applying however.

7. What are the benefits?

There is a large cash prize + the benefits of appearing are that you will learn a lot about entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship. We will be working with you to launch your ideas and projects properly and successfully. We will support you to get funding, mentoring, build a network, and connect you to the things you need to make it work. You will learn new skills such as management, marketing, finance, team-building, and sales. We will connect you to many of the resources you need.

8. What are the prizes?

Every episode will feature a small prize for the winner of that episode, so no one will leave empty handed. Prizes could include, cash, mobile phones, plane tickets, free website design, consulting, training, assistance with registration, personal coaching, mentorship, supplies, etc.

The winner of the show will earn a grand cash prize to fund his or her own project.

9. What is the judging criteria?

The judges will be evaluating whether you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. They will be assessing your personal potential and skills such as perseverance, courage, pragmatism, and vision. If you make it through the first round, the judges will then be looking at your Mashrou3 to see whether it has a strong model, a market need, financial sustainability, social impact, and innovation. Throughout the show of course, there will be other people and mentors who will be helping you to develop these entrepreneurial skills and work on strengthening your Mashrou3’s for the judges.

10. Who are the judges?

We will be announcing the judges at the launch of the series, but they are prestigious individuals from the private and public sector who are success stories in their own right and who have a deep understanding of entrepreneurship and its challenges in Egypt. There will also be many guest judges who are experts in a particular area.

11. Will I get to meet or work with any celebrities?

You will definitely meet several celebrities throughout the show, who will help you and support you as guest judges or mentors. We will be announcing the celebrities at the launch of the series.

12. Can I apply if my business does not have any obvious social impact?

Yes, you can apply if you have a typical business. We believe that all small business is good business here in Egypt because there is a desperate need for jobs. You will however, probably get more points if your Mashrou3 makes money like a normal business, and employs people, and has a social impact as well. See our website for examples.

13. Does my business have to be legally registered?

No, your business does not have to be legally registered in order for you to apply to El Mashrou3.


14. Can I still work on my project while I’m on the show?

You can certainly give your own project some attention in between filming days. However, when we are filming, you have to bear in mind that your main priority will be El Mashrou3. You might be able to make some phone-calls during breaks however. If you are selected, we will definitely try to work with you to find a solution to keep your Mashrou3 going while you are filming.

15. Will you cover my travel and expenses to and from Cairo?

Yes, all travel expenses to and from Cairo will be covered, as well as accommodation and food.

16. Do you have to film my family?

No, it’s preferred for us to have access to your family and general surroundings, but if there are certain family members who are uncomfortable or if this presents a problem for you, we can find an arrangement.

17. Where will I be staying?

You will be living with the other contestants in an accommodation provided by us. Boys and girls will have separate accommodation however, and we will be observing strict cultural norms in the living area. There will be occasional travel to different provinces. We are open to considering chaperones if need be.

18. If I get on the show, what will I be doing?

All contestants will go through various team challenges, which will test your entrepreneurial abilities. Our hope is that you can apply the skills you learn to your own Mashrou3. We will also be working with you to launch your Mashrou3 and get you the support you need so that you can succeed.