Building Generosity: Tektōn

September 3, 2021

Akram Barsoum & Joseph Mansour, Tektōn

Architect Akram Barsoum and engineer Joseph (Joe) Mansour left their corporate jobs in 2018 and launched Tektōn, an artisan furniture company in Cairo, Egypt. From the start, they knew they wanted it to be a different kind of business, one that would bring beauty and life into a space. Tektōn is an ancient Greek noun (τέκτων) that means craftsman or carpenter. They named the company with Jesus’ first vocation of carpentry in mind.

Tektōn is more than just a furniture company. Generosity is a foundational value that can be seen in how they run their business and how they treat their workers, many of whom are vulnerable Syrian refugees looking to rebuild their lives. When Tektōn outgrew their original workshop, they inquired about renting a factory that was facing bankruptcy in the New Cairo neighborhood. The owner asked if they just wanted the building or all the workers too. They felt a strong calling from God to keep all the workers employed and working.

When Akram and Joe participated in Oasis Academy through Sinapis’ partner, TC Egypt, they learned how to run an effective business and integrate their faith in Christ into the company. While Egypt was able to avoid extended country-wide COVID lockdowns, the pandemic prevented a business-as-usual approach. During the height of restrictions, Akram and Joe arranged for Tektōn workers to live at the factory for three weeks at a time with one week off at home. This helped ensure continued production and meant workers and their families could stay safe from potential COVID exposure.

Today, Tektōn is thriving. In 2020, only their second year of operations, profits quadrupled with more growth expected in 2021. While their business is growing, so is their understanding of how to integrate their faith into business strategy and operations. Their love for God inspires a deep generosity that is transforming their business as well as the lives of their workers and their community. As a member of TC Egypt’s Alumni Program, Tektōn gives financially to support TC Egypt’s programming and ensures that more people can access the resources that have made their business such a success.