5 Social Businesses We Love In MENA and Why
Article published in Barakabits
At BarakaBits, we are constantly overtaken by the thousands of entrepreneurs working day and night to make a difference in the Middle East and North Africa. Working to empower Palestinian women in refugee camps, providing sustainable energy sources through DIY kits, or democratizing education through mobile softwares, these 5 social businesses make it to the top of our list.
1) SEP, the Startup that sells Palestinian Embroidery From Jerash Refugee Camp to Every Continent: The social business employs over 200 women from the Jerash refugee camp in Jordan, to produce high-quality jute bags and creative design clothes based on the legendary Palestinian tradition of embroidering. The startup has kicked off its first year of operations with over 1,000 bags sold.
2) ISolarWorkx: inspired by the notion of making science more accessible to everyone in a creative and innovative way, the social enterprise works to create DIY solar kits that are modeled as cars, making learning about science concepts like Newton’s first law and the relationship between distance, time, velocity and speed more fun for pupils.
3) Ustad Mobile, a company that offers educational software that does not need smart phones, new tablet devices, laptops or even a mobile signal to function. Ustad works to supply the software, open source, to anyone who wishes to download it and create their own course — in the language of their choice.
4) Sitti Soap: A woman-focused social enterprise, the aim of Sitti Soap is to bring sustainability, integrity and independence back to the communities but especially to the women of Jerash’s ‘Gaza’ camp. The soap combines natural ingredients like Jordanian virgin olive oil and other oil infusions. It is made using traditional Palestinian (Nabulsi) methods, staying true to their traditional roots.
5) Eshraq is a website that works to help people through mental and social issues through the advice of seasoned professionals, aiming to be the MENA’s first destination to offer personalized solutions to health and social issues so that users can live happier and more fulfilling lives.