Alshaimaa Omar, a Leading Female Entrepreneur in the Biogas and Organic Fertilizers Market

Originally, from the village of Qulfao in Sohag, Egypt, Alshaimaa Omar attended Minya University where she graduated as a Chemical Engineer from the Faculty of Engineering in 2012. While in her final year at the university, Alshaimaa studied organic waste recycling using matter such as, animal manure, food waste and sewage. After graduating, she continued to feel a growing concern around the problem of garbage and waste management, and dreamed of owning a company that focused on bioenergy—renewable energy produced by living organisms—but wasn’t sure how to turn her dream into reality.

Alshaimaa came across an opportunity to expand her knowledge on bioengineering in 2013, when the Ministry of Environment announced its need for engineers to receive training on the installation of household biogas units in Assiut. These units allow for households to create renewable fuel (biogas) through the breakdown of organic matter, which can then be used for any heating purpose. Alshaimaa took the training and succeeded in delivering the target of 13 bioenergy units, which she said are still working efficiently today. This achievement inspired her to start her first company, BioMix, in Sohag in August 2014.

A second opportunity came when she joined the ESTEDAMA incubator, which was supported by the USAID’s Strengthening Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development (SEED) project, at the Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development. There, Alshaimaa attended sessions on finance, management, sales and marketing, and also received specialized technical assistance in agriculture. She benefited significantly from the incubator as she learned how to establish and manage a company efficiently and effectively. Because of this training, she managed to adjust the cash flow in her company and modify the team structure. She also decided to start a new company in March 2018 that produces organic fertilizers, using biogas units called BioMax.

The new company managed to install about 200 household biogas units in 14 governorates. The production of each biogas unit varies from two to six cubic meters (every cubic meter is equal to one regular gas cylinder) with an average revenue of 1 million EGP per month. BioMax also established three farm scale units with also an average revenue of 1 million EGP per month.

Recently, the company followed a smart strategy: giving biogas in exchange for animal waste that is later on turned into organic fertilizers. This win-win strategy helped make people more dependent on renewable energy sources rather than the non-renewable ones. BioMax also launched two new liquid fertilizers into the market, ‘Ferto-Max’ and ‘Golden Green Ferti’ that were successful in producing a higher crop quality and quantity when compared to using the chemical fertilizers. This is consequently spreading more awareness in the field and making the organic market more prominent.

Alshaimaa also managed to establish a biogas lab and fertilizers plant in the Agriculture department of Menofiya University, to accommodate student’s researches.

BioMax is currently considered the second biggest local company in the biogas and organic fertilizers market and making Alshaimaa a leading female entrepreneur in a market previously dominated by males. She plans to establish a large-scale biogas unit for the production of electricity that will revolutionize the market of renewable energy.

“BioMax is currently considered the second biggest local company in the biogas and organic fertilizers market”.

 

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