A 16-year-old entrepreneur from Solihull breathed a new lease of life and optimism into the Egyptian business scene following her successful pitch on the country’s Dragons Den equivalent. Alia’s candle-making business flourished after she won support from the sharks, as they are referred to in Egypt.
Alia now manages her business during school holidays in Egypt while balancing her A-levels at Solihull, according to the BBC. Alia’s father, Ahmed, expressed immense pride about his daughter’s feat, hopeful that her achievements will inspire others.
Alia, an Egyptian-born student at Solihull School, initially began crafting bracelets during lockdown. Her venture later evolved into a candle-making business using soy, which offers a dual purpose as a skin lotion when melted.
Alia caught the attention of Shark Tank Egypt producers, which secured her a spot on the show in December after her school permitted her to travel for work experience. Despite her young age and business exposure, she managed to convince three out of five sharks to invest, which prompted her story to go viral across the Middle East, with over 7.6 million views of her video on Facebook.
Her father, who expressed pride in Alia’s strides, said today’s generation has a mind of their own and often chooses to pursue their path independently.
Within 10 days after her Shark Tank Egypt appearance, Alia’s Instagram business account skyrocketed from 3,600 to 68,000 followers. Her products consistently sold out within 10 minutes of being posted on her website. After the show, she hired three individuals from a burns victims charity, to which she had previously donated proceeds.
Alia now aims to expand her candle production to the UK, currently crafting batches during family visits to Egypt on holidays.