5 inspiring female entrepreneurs in the Arab World
Racha Haffar, Tunisia
Racha Haffar is a journalist and women’s rights activist. She is also fighting against human trafficking in Tunisia. This is a cause very close to her heart since the young woman founded in December 2016 the first NGO specialized in this field, named “Not 4 Trade”. This organization aims to set up control and protection mechanisms, to create accommodation centers and to unify the efforts of other activist associations related to the cause.
Sanaa Afouaiz, Morocco
Strengthened by her experience at the European Commission and the United Nations, Sanaa Afouaiz created the non-profit organization “Womenpreneur”. This is a platform dedicated to women’s entrepreneurship, where Moroccan women can acquire the skills and knowledge they need to develop their own businesses. This initiative therefore stimulates the local economy.
Zena Salih, Iraq
Zena Salih created Ishtar in 2014, a company specialized in the artisanal manufacturing of soaps. At the beginning, while working from home, the young woman managed to open her first shop in 2017. The success of her business has allowed her to hire 37 women from disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition to her creative talents, Zena Salih is committed to offering more and more professional opportunities for women in her country.
Yasmin Helal, Egypt
With her program called “Educate Me”, Yasmin Helal intends to differ from the traditional school system. Through Educate Me, the goal is to enable children to acquire knowledge in the areas they love, to support them in their projects, and thus, to help them achieve their life goals. Children also take part in lesson planning and fundraising, in order to empower them. The program is offered free of charge in marginalized communities, and is also offered to students in private schools on a fee-based basis.
Lubna Olayan, Saudi Arabia
Lubna Olayan was born in 1955 in Saudi Arabia. She is known for being one of the most powerful business women on the planet. Succeeding her father in 2002, she took the reins of the Olayan Group, a multinational operating in the distribution, services and finance sectors. Lubna Olayan is a very influential and committed woman who defends many causes, such as the place of women at work and the promotion of the Arab world.