A teenage Solihull entrepreneur's candles are lighting up the business world

A teenage entrepreneur has lit up Egypt's business world after appearing on the country's Dragons Den with her candles.

The 16-year-old's candle-making business took off after conquering sharks, as they are known in the country.

Alia, from Solihull, combines her A5s with running her business in Egypt when she visits the country with her family during the school holidays.

Her father Ahmed said he was very proud and hoped she had inspired others.

Egyptian-born Alia, who studies economics, physics and chemistry at Solihull School, started making bracelets during quarantine.

She went on to make candles and used soy which, when melted down, can be used as a skin lotion. This developed into a small business.

Producers from Shark Tank Egypt, a show where prospective business owners pitch for investment, contacted her and she appeared on screen in December – after the school allowed her to travel as part of work experience.

“Alia managed to convince three out of five sharks to invest in her business despite her young age and her story went viral across the Middle East region, with her Facebook video being viewed over 7.6 million times,” she said. her father said.

“We're very proud of her. This generation really doesn't listen to us, does it? They do their own thing, but she's doing very well.”

Her Instagram business account grew from 3,600 followers to 68,000 in 10 days, and her products sold out 10 minutes after they were uploaded to her website following her appearance on the show, he added.

Since appearing, she has employed three people from a burns charity – previously donating the proceeds to the charity,

Now she wants to start producing her candles in the UK.

Alia is currently producing series when the family returns to Egypt for Easter and summer and half-year holidays.

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Elvira Parkinson

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