Shared working spaces are becoming a global trend and a haven for freelancers, students, and entrepreneurs. Cairo has its finger on the pulse with some of these spaces popping up in the city. One such place offering solace to the officeless is AlMaqarr (the headquarters) in Heliopolis. Cairo East Magazine spoke to the founders to get the inside story.
CEM: How did the idea of AlMaqarr come about?
It had always been a problem to set a proper meeting with our teams. As working in NGOs, and Student Activities, we didn’t have our own place to work in. Cafés were always an option. However, with all the noise and interruptions by the waiters we were never able to do anything the way we wanted. We started using the Educational Centers for High Schools, but the noise was unbearable. Another thing, as part of organizations, we always want to collaborate and create partnerships with others. But finding people is not as easy as anyone would think. We’re all scattered around cafés and centers and it’s very hard to get hold of people. “This is it,” we said, “we want everyone to do their work in one place, there has to be one place gathering us all”. We decided to do it ourselves. We decided to build a headquarters for everyone who’s looking for a headquarter. We took the initiative and started AlMaqarr (The Headquarters).
What’s the concept?
AlMaqarr provides an organic space for ideation stage entrepreneurs to collaborate and gain support to further their ideas and transform them into sustainable projects and businesses. We help them with the physical space they need, we give advice, we provide support and we do our best in order to get people to kick-start, whether they use AlMaqarr for their meetings, share an office, or come to work occasionally.
What services do you offer?
Our services are: private office, shared work-space, meeting space, event venue, workshop venue, and study area.
The amenities available are Internet, free hot-drinks, snacks and beverages, printer, lockers, beanbags, an outdoor area with lots of sunlight, convenient parking, and a friendly staff.
Who are the people who use AlMaqarr?
AlMaqarr is open for all change-makers and doers who make things happen. These people include but are not limited to: entrepreneurs, freelancers, students, startups, student organizations, social initiatives and NGOs.
What are the benefits you see to the community?
It’s not only about the meeting hosting, we also make partnerships with anyone we receive, whether start-ups, student organizations, or any other entities. We provide marketing support through our different channels, we help connect people to the resources they need, we know exactly what they want and our support unlimitedly extends outside every box.
What do people enjoy most about AlMaqarr?
We always say that it’s all about the community. We manage a solid and diversified community of people who make things happen, and I believe this is the real value behind why people come to AlMaqarr. Our community values are clear: collaboration, sharing, diversity, and trusted community. We believe these values are being reflected in every single detail in our daily happenings, and that’s why people always trust the community and what it brings to them.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/almaqarr e.
Instagram: www.instagram.com/almaqarr 2.