Moving from Kuwait where she had been running a business since 1992, Mrs Taheya, together with her husband Mr Motaz, established the Infinity Group for Trade in Cairo, Egypt, in 2009.
Women like Mrs Taheya are a rarity in Egypt. Despite efforts to encourage Egyptian women to start their own businesses, female participation in the newly rising entrepreneurship ecosystem still remains lower than expected. Almost 86% of early-stage entrepreneurial ventures in Egypt are led or owned by men, while women comprise only 14%.
Against this backdrop, Mrs Taheya stands out as a woman entrepreneur of substance. She not only owns 50% of the business but also actively looks after the organisation as its Managing Director and Vice President. Moreover, Mrs Taheya has ensured that the women-centric approach continues well into the next generation as her daughter is highly involved in the business as well.
Woman power is evident everywhere in Infinite. The clothing brand offers the women at its helm infinite opportunities to make a difference to the lives of others in a fashion market where oversized women and women under the veil are treated as invisibles.
Currently, the company has two outlets in the most popular malls in Cairo that are outperforming their peers. Mrs Taheya ensures that the brand and its offerings remain relevant by regularly attending marketing trainings in Milano, Italy, to stay abreast of the latest trends in the fashion world.
However, Mrs Taheya wished to reach out to more women, especially with its newly launched exclusive range for plus-sized women and veiled women. A new store in the “Mall of Egypt”, an upcoming mall in Cairo with significant potential, was considered as the ideal way to promote the exclusive range. This is where GroFin stepped in to provide finance and business support to the Infinity Group of Trade to successfully open its new outlet.
“The fact that the business is 50% owned by a woman who is highly engaged in management makes it an attractive investment in GroFin’s eyes, as we strongly believe in empowering women,” says Dina Wafik, Investment Manager, GroFin Egypt.
As part of its value-added business support, GroFin helped the client with expert advice on the financial and operational feasibility of opening new branches. The GroFin team also assisted with ongoing assessment of expansion opportunities in Africa by capitalising on GroFin’s network.
Finally, the employment impact of this investment is high, with the staff strength poised to go up from the current 27 to an estimated 40 employees with the opening of the new sales outlet.