Sean Brownlee

Location: Cairo, Egypt

Village Capital Partner: Nahdet El Mahrousa

About Sean…

Sean hails from the United States and earned his Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts with a Major in Arabic at Excelsior College. He earned his Master in Business Administration from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, a Graduate School of Middlebury College in December 2011. He also studied Arabic at the Monterey Peninsula College and Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.

Sean has 13 years of operational military experience including posts as a Command Language Program Manager, Assessment and Selection Instructor, and Team Leader who has served in Cuba, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to departing for a Frontier Market Scouts assignment in Cairo, Sean served as a virtual scout during the Spring 2011 semester for the FMS team in Tanzania. As a virtual scout, he assisted the scout currently in the field with research and administrative projects while serving as a liaison between the scout and the Monterey Institute.  Sean had spent seven years studying Arabic before arriving in Cairo. While participating in FMS, Sean completed courses at the American University in Cairo.

In the field…

Sean interviewed local entrepreneurs to measure Egypt’s ability to be a technological and social venture capital hub. He also completed an academic project investigating the question, “What makes an entrepreneur successful?” This research brought out key psychological and environmental characteristics that led to an entrepreneur’s success. Many of the anecdotes he collected showcase how the revolution impacted small business in Egypt. The entrepreneurs Sean interviewed agreed that there were a number of advantages that Egypt has in its favor including the following, “innovation is real; valuations are reasonable; engineering talent is available; real estate is cheap; and the government is motivated to help foster entrepreneurial success stories as a means of inspiring its youth.”

Some of Sean’s most poignant recommendations for the entrepreneurs with which he met included the recommendation to (1) develop an exit strategy in case of tumultuous market conditions and (2) to create more unique value propositions for customers.

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