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Levari support SMEs in Egypt

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From pioneers to pioneers: lawyers supporting startups in Egypt

The legal process for starting a business is the first and most important step facing entrepreneurs. Perhaps the entrepreneurial sector lacks a law firm that specializes in meeting the needs of companies that are taking their first steps towards creating legally sound entities.

From this standpoint, Sharif decided Hafni founder of the company “Evari” Levari Legal Services, to devote part of his company to support entrepreneurs, with respect to the legal procedures necessary to establish their companies, and to provide legal advice.

Hafni leading Egyptian businessman, grew up in Britain, and received honors in Business Administration from the Faculty of Law at the University of “Northampton” Northampton, and then obtained a law degree from Oxford University. Hefni worked as a lawyer in Britain for five years, then with the United Nations International Labor Organization in Geneva. He then moved with Crowell & Moring International Law Office to Egypt.

After studying and direct contact with the Egyptian market, he saw a clear shortage in the quality of legal services offered to startups in Egypt.

In November 2012, Livari launched its services in partnership with Pitmans, an international corporate law firm, headquartered in Britain.

This partnership allowed Livari to serve the Egyptian entrepreneurial sector locally and internationally (through the British partner), promising entrepreneurs a safer future for their companies if they decide to expand their products or services globally.

Since Hefny is primarily a lawyer who specializes in merging companies and drafting investment contracts, his office allows networking of pioneers with international investors. In cases of foreign partnership, Livari secures partnership contracts under British law, which Hefni believes are “better able than Egyptian law to protect the rights of all parties to the contract.”

Hefni also informs the pioneers of successful and unsuccessful global experiences, and allows them to network with their owners to open their minds and expand their expertise.

Hefni understands that entrepreneurship is often associated with a lack of financial resources. “An entrepreneur can contact Livari and book a free hour to explain his company’s legal status and legal constraints, to discuss ways to find radical solutions to the problem, and to support its implementation on the ground. With the possibility of repayment in monthly installments.”

It does not end there, but the entrepreneur can get any legal advice, after or before the establishment, by telephone confirmed by the pioneers who benefited from the services of “Livari” through phone calls and electronic correspondence. Including “factory” ElMasna3 for content production and marketing management on social networking platforms, and “Offerna” Offerna, site group discounts on the Internet, and “Ainodoz” Enodos, management consulting company business data analysis.

According to Ahmed Arif, founder of Opportunity, Livari’s legal services have contributed to successful commercial contracts for its Fresh Buzz product. Abdullah Asal, founder of Offerna, is counting on the availability of international business models for Livari that could contribute to his future expansion plans.

To ensure engagement with the Egyptian entrepreneurial community, Livari’s representative is at Flat6Labs, Cairo, 4 days a week, to support free pioneers.

Levari also leases a workspace in The Greek Campus, which currently houses 71 startups.

While Hefni remains conservative in the number of startups that receive consulting requests from them monthly, they range from only 5 to 10 companies. “I pay much attention to the quality of service and the value of time,” said Hefni.

From his experience with entrepreneurs over the past two years, Hefni has seen some wrong trends, including:

  • “Do not assume potential investor requests and start working on them before they are physically present. Each investor has a different plan, vision and ambitions.”

  • “Do not start your project beyond your means, it may take more than you expect to find the prospective financier.”

  • “To start a start-up, you need to have an auditor and a lawyer, so you don’t get stuck with paper problems in the future.”

Hefni confirms that from his direct work with investors inside and outside Egypt, he never advises his client to finance an unfinished project in terms of legal or accounting. Hefni takes on some law firms and legal firms in Egypt: “Not enough legal visions for entrepreneurs.”

For these reasons, Livari relies on its traditional legal activities in Egypt and abroad, to generate returns, since the lead sector service line is not profit-based.

Hefny calls the big law firms in Egypt, to enter the leadership sector strongly, to meet its needs and support the pioneers, describing startups as: “safe exit to the Egyptian economy from the current stagnation.”