Business & Future of Work

Menna Shahin

Co-Founder of TeKeya

Co-Founder of TeKeya


A Digital Tool Helps to Lessen Hunger, or: A Digital Tool Helps to Feed the Hungry (Needy)

Egyptian entrepreneur Menna Shahin co-founded Tekeya mobile app with the purpose to waste less food, fight poverty while improve the environment, three of the items on the UN Sustainable Development Goals to achieve a better and more sustainable future.

Three of the most essential needs of human existence are the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we consume. When they are available to us, we take them for granted. And when they are scarce or absent, they become an all-consuming need that stems from our primal instincts for survival. Absence of air or water brings a swift end to our existence. Absence of food, however, brings a slow dilapidation of the body and spirit that cannot be described. Only those who have experienced it know how it feels.

The inability to grow food and the scarce availability and distribution around the world are perhaps the greatest inequalities and injustices that have existed since the dawn of human existence. Ironically, with the industrialization of food growth, storage and distribution the gap between the haves and the have nots has grown to a chasm. The only thing you have to do to understand this gross inequality is to watch children starve and the huge amounts of food thrown away in the affluent societies. The food wasted in a single wedding reception or a buffet in a 5-star hotel can feed an entire village. Think about that.

Also, think about this. If we could make this otherwise wasted food available to those who need it. Well, Menna Shahin is striving to make this happen by creating a food chain that links those who have surplus food with those who need food. She and her husband launched Tekeya, an application designed to fight food waste and help in solving the environmental crisis, in Egypt in 2019.

Brainchild of Shahin and her husband, Tekeya creates a Digital Market Place that connects Hotels, Restaurants and Grocery Stores having perfectly fresh surplus food with consumers who want to get a fresh meal at a reduced price. Through the app, food providers will upload information about their excess food products to sell at a reduced price. It will also help consumers across various layers of the society to enjoy a meal for a reasonable price, whilst fighting the waste of food and protecting the environment. Charitable organizations will also benefit from the app, which will give the opportunity for food providers to donate food, at no cost, to charitable organizations.

At the first stage, food providers will include grocery stores and restaurants in Cairo and Giza. “Egypt is one of the biggest food wasters in the world, representing 73kg of food wasted per person every year. Not only does the waste of food creates a burden on the environment through CO2 emissions, but equally it leaves providers with excess food, a loss of potential income and consumers without meals they could afford,” explained Shahin in a press release from the UAE where she lives.

Since its launch, TeKeya saved thousands of surplus meals, either donated to charity organizations feeding the needy or sold at reduced price to customers whilst reducing the CO2 footprint by over 4 tons. Tekeya’s vision is to become a world leading platform that brings together all shareholders involved across the Food Value Chain, from Public Institutions, NGO’s, Charity Organizations to Privately-held Businesses, towards a more sustainable society.

Menna Shahin is an Egyptian entrepreneur. She is a graduate of the faculty of Pharmacy, Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt. She majored in Pharmaceutical Industries. She is a regional executive in a multinational pharmaceutical company in Dubai, UAE. She is actively involved in social and community work and was an active member in Giza horizon Rotary Club. She has more than half a million followers on her various social media platforms.

She is also among the first Egyptian women who started a Travel Business Exclusively for women, where she organized her travels in collaboration with certified life coaches to incorporate self-development coaching in the travel plans. Menna aspires to empower women to build new connections with other women and discover more about themselves through travel.

Moreover, Menna is an experienced public speaker, gave a Tedx Talk in 2019, featured in more than twenty TV interviews, spoke as a keynote speaker at the World Youth Forum and held several coaching sessions, including a master training about food waste for future chefs in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism. Lastly, Menna has been featured in over one hundred articles written about her initiatives in the Middle Eastern press.