A teenage entrepreneur lit up the Egyptian business world after an appearance on the country’s Dragons Den equivalent with her candles.
The 16-year-old’s candle-making company rocketed after she won over the sharks, as they are known in the country.
Alia from Solihull juggles her A levels with running her business in Egypt when she visits the country with family during school holidays.
Her father Ahmed said he was very proud and hoped she has inspired others.
Egyptian-born Alia, who studies economic, physics and chemistry at Solihull School, started making bracelets during lockdown.
She went on to make candles and uses soy which, when melted, can be used as a skin lotion. This developed into a small business.
Producers from Shark Tank Egypt, a show where prospective business owners make a pitch for investment, contacted her and she appeared on screen in December – after her school allowed her to travel as part of work experience.
“Alia succeeded in convincing three of the five sharks to invest in her business despite her young age and her story went viral in the whole Middle East region where her video on Facebook was viewed over 7.6 million times,” her father said.
“We’re very proud of her. This generation don’t really listen to us do they? They do their own thing, but she’s doing very well.”
Her business account on Instagram grew in 10 days from 3,600 followers to 68,000 with her products selling out 10 minutes after they were uploaded on her website following her appearance on the show, he added.
Since her appearance she has employed three people from a charity which supports burns victims – she had previously donated proceeds towards the charity,
She now wants to now start producing her candles in the UK.
Alia currently makes batches when the family return to Egypt as Easter and summer and half-term holiday.