Social and educational entrepreneur, founder of Practice Makes Perfect
Coined as a natural teacher and referred to as a “rock star” by audiences who hear his message, Karim Abouelnaga is a young, dynamic entrepreneur that we can all learn from. Born to immigrant parents, raised by a single mother, and astutely navigating the streets and his inner-city public schools, Karim won over a quarter million dollars in scholarship and aid to attend and graduate in the top 10% of his ivy league university. Upon graduation, he turned down his Wall Street job offer to commit his life to educational equity.
At 18, Karim founded Practice Makes Perfect (PMP) to level the playing field over the summer for kids growing up in disadvantaged neighborhoods just like him. In the two years after college, Karim and his team raised over $2 million from some of NYC’s most well-respected philanthropists – including the Rockefeller, Tisch, Mailman, Sackler, and
Ackman families – all before turning 24 years old.
In 2016, Karim led PMP’s transition from a 501(c)3 nonprofit to a forprofit certified B Corp. PMP has served over 3,000 inner-city youth and created almost 1,000 seasonal jobs to date and is on track to serving an additional 10,000 kids and creating another 1,000 seasonal jobs in the next three years. Karim’s rise from poverty to ivy league education to
operating a multi-million-dollar education company before the age of 25 redefines possibilities and brings truth to the notion that you can do good for the world and do well for yourself.
Karim is a sought out motivational speaker and keynote because of his personal experiences and success. He engages his audiences on the topics of equity, fundraising, youth employment, community engagement and revitalization, and leading with purpose. At 23, he was named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in Education and at 25 he was ranked in the top 5 most influential entrepreneurs under 25 in the world. Karim is a 2017 TED fellow, a 2014 Global Good Fund Fellow, and a 2013 Echoing Green Fellow. He graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor’s in Hotel Administration in 2013 and is currently completing his Master’s degree in Education Policy at Columbia University.