In the words of Suzanne Gamal: “The marketing trainings I attended before were generic and I did not benefit much compared to the great knowledge I learned through Rabeha Joint Programme”


Suzanne Gamal, a 46-year-old mother, would do whatever it takes to provide the best for her children. When her eldest son's summer vacation approached, Suzanne was keen on finding top quality summer camps where he could develop and grow. However, she was disappointed as she did not find what she was looking for. That’s when she decided to launch her own camp, and Makan was born. To overcome the challenges she was facing along the way to manage her business, Suzanne decided to join Rabeha Joint Programme, which aims to enhance women’s economic empowerment by providing capacity building, development support and financial aid to women entrepreneurs, jobseekers, private sector companies and investors.

Suzzane Gamal
Suzanne Gamal, one of the participants of Rabeha Joint Programme and founder of Makan for child development, as she delivers a session to a group of children in Child Center of Civilization and Creativity. Photo: Aingy Nour

“I believe that in order to raise a well-balanced generation, children need to acquire life skills as well as knowledge. We cannot have an educated child with limited interactions with the world around him/her, and at the same time we cannot have a child with the best social skills but is ignorant. That is why Makan champions a developmental approach, empowering children to thrive in every aspect of life.

Back in 2012, when I first started searching for summer camps for my son, the limited options I had were only offering fun activities and games, with no real focus on child development. I realized that this is something that the market is missing and it was an opportunity for me to act. I decided to cater to the needs of mothers like me and establish a place that would offer real edutainment. I always knew that I wanted to run a business related to child development and now I could see my dream coming true.

The name Makan, which translates to “the place”, was inspired by the vision I had for my business venture. I wanted it to be the place where children develop into well-rounded human beings; essentially a place that made a difference.

I took many courses and diplomas on Montessori education, edutainment and gamification to be well prepared to take my first steps. I started off by offering summer and winter camps and as my network expanded, I began working with schools on organizing activities and trips and designing informative activities all-year round.

When I came across Rabeha Joint p I was extremely intrigued that it offered customized support and one-on-one sessions with experts. After reading the progamme’s announcement, I immediately as I had many questions, specific to my business, that I hoped to have answered by a professional expert.

During the training programme, I received one-on-one consultations that tackled marketing, legal procedures and business management and this was the first time for me to have such customized sessions. I attended marketing trainings before; however, they were generic and I did not benefit much compared to the great knowledge I learned through Rabeha Joint Programme.

As my business relies heavily on networking and business relations with schools, the sales training, provided during the programme, was also invaluable to me. I understood how to approach clients, how to draft emails that are attractive to read, and learned about different sales tools that would be very useful in closing deals.

The sales training also opened my eyes to other potential clientele beyond schools and children. I was introduced to a whole new world, and I started approaching corporates, which garnered me a lot of business. Our work with companies now focuses on organizing sponsored on-ground public activations and games that reflect the core values of the company.

In addition to Rabeha Joint Programme’s technical support which created a significant impact on the management of Makan, I was also eligible to receive a EGP 100,000 fund. I used this generous support to upscale our activities and games. I hired a consultant to work on the development of our games in term of content and design, making them more attractive, engaging and informative. We also expanded our portfolio to include more games, including card games, board games and, some even, life-size games. With a much more diverse collection of edutainment and gamification activities, we now have a stronger business portfolio to approach clients with.

The success of my business reflects directly on the development of the children and the community. Moments like these are what make me feel that I have achieved my goals in life and made an impact, and I feel very proud.

My journey with Makan has taught me a fundamental truth that every business venture is a rollercoaster ride, complete with exhilarating highs and daunting lows. The business world is fierce, with competition and challenges waiting for you at every turn. This is why, as a business owner, being agile is essential to be able to constantly adapt to the changing market landscape with new and fresh ideas. These skills, coupled with determination and perseverance, are the key to success.


Suzzane is one of more than 6,300 women who participated in the “Women’s Economic Empowerment for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in Egypt” programme known as “Rabeha”. Rabeha Joint Programme is implemented by UN Women Egypt and UNIDO Egypt, in partnership with the National Council for Women (NCW), the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA) with the generous support of Global Affairs Canada (GAC). The training programme that Suzzane joined was delivered by Nahdet El Mahrousa.