Helmy Abouleish

Helmy Abouleish is the son of SEKEM founder Ibrahim Abouleish. Born in Austria, where his father spent 20 years in exile, he joined his family in Egypt as a teenager. He is now married and has two grown-up daughters.

After completing a degree in business economics, marketing and finance, he took over the management of SEKEM. For the last 16 years, he has been managing director and vice chairman of the business.

Helmy Abouleish believes SEKEM has succeeded in building bridges: “For over 38 years, the SEKEM community has lived the principles of giving equal respect to every living thing, affording every person space for personal development and recognising nature as the very foundation of our being. Thanks to a combination of sustainable agriculture, cultural and social engagement and a fair economic approach, the future is filled with hope”.

Over the last 15 years, SEKEM has developed into one of the world’s most successful and impressive ecological flagship companies. Its annual growth is 30%.

As well as managing the SEKEM farm, Helmy runs a re-vegetation project. Using biodynamic methods, three deserts, each covering 2,000 hectares – from the Sinai in the east to the Libyan Desert in the west – are being transformed into green areas with trees, shrubs, livestock and arable.

“What I can say is that, if we can succeed in creating the largest market for biodynamic products outside of Europe, America or Japan – here, in some developing country – then the same can be achieved in Turkey, South Africa or Brazil. There needs to be someone driving it forward with an entrepreneurial approach, but it’s totally feasible”.