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CAIRO — It’s almost 7 a.m. on a Tuesday, a workday in most parts of the world. But the sidewalks and alleys of Cairo are already occupied by working-age men without employment who spend long hours at small, local cafés just trying to kill time.

In a country with a youth unemployment rate above 30 percent, a highly restrictive political climate and an economy only now creeping back to levels seen before the 2011 uprising, these young men say the prospects of finding jobs are grim — even for those who have completed higher-level education. 

And yet a rising class of entrepreneurs say virtually every problem and deficiency that exists in Egypt — traffic congestion, garbage pileups, power shortages — and the failure of the government to address those issues and provide critical services has left the door open for youth-led startup companies to provide solutions.

Egypt’s young entrepreneurs work to fulfill revolution’s promise

Photos by Laura El-Tantawy/GlobalPost

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