Saudi women entrepreneurs
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- Loura Al-Jehani is a 16-year-old social entrepreneur in her new enterprise that spreads awareness about sea world pollution. She says, “Pollution affects the fish evolution and causes poison to humans to an extent even some deaths. I want to tackle this issue through awareness pamphlets and banners, fines, certified scuba diving lessons. I came up with this idea after my experience from getting an allergy from eating fish so I wanted to develop my ideas and convert it to an enterprise.” Laura is a high school student and member of Girl Guides of Saudi Arabia who recently participated as one of the finalists of the annual Jeddah Entrepreneurs Meet Competition. Her enterprises aims to launch media campaigns on video, social media, as well as start scuba diving lessons.
- Warqaa Alwazir, founder of Future Vision Program is an entrepreneur in education. She says, “Students in international schools are weak in Arabic language and Qur’an. There’s too much homework so no time for it and it’s becoming the least of their priorities. As an English instructor I noticed parents were not happy in international schools. After 12 years, I quit and decided I have to do something. I thought that if I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it. Teaching English to my kids was essential. As a result, they became weak in Arabic and communicating with adults, including their relatives. That’s when I thought I have to do something to benefit them first.” The Future Vision Program aims to be a brand later on targeting all schools. She says, “It would add a value to all schools. Other schools that have this are too expensive. The services we’re going to provide will be different. It trains students in critical thinking in homework, know how to solve problems, to boost their confidence and independence and how to think.”
- Rock Paper Scissors: Founders Rola Badkook & Rafah Sahab. Together, they founded a new manufacturing entrepreneurship to create games and toys that suit local culture. Their new lines of educational games are dedicated to engaging, connecting families and play therapy. “Games and toys are much more than entertainment, they have a strong impact on healing and therapy, according to Rafah who holds a degree in play therapy. “It’s a process that engages the clients in a playful process to help them heal, transform, and know about themselves through games and using materials.” “I share the same interest,” says Rola who has previous experiences in business. “I believe all children have the right to play no matter what their socioeconomic background is.”
- Aisha Al-Muthaffar, a young Saudi entrepreneur, is the founder of a new enterprise called Edanah, a factory specialized in producing natural pressed coal from recycled palm tree fronds creating firewood. “By taking the fronds of palm trees, we ground the stack, then dry it, and finally press it until it turns into firewood,” says Aisha, who lives in the Eastern Province. The Saudi market consumes SR30 million in coal annually, with 70 percent of it being imported while only 30 percent consumed locally. Each year, Aisha adds, the palm tree fronds are destroyed during harvest season. “In the fields, most of the fronds are gotten rid of by burning them, causing pollution in the environment. Our goal is to save the environment, produce local manufacturing that is useful and in demand in the market.” “We need to make use of it because it’s a source of wealth,” she further says. “We want to turn it into industrial capital.” Aisha is one of 30 finalists participating at the annual Jeddah Entrepreneurs Meet (JEM) and Competition, with startups in various sectors and a passion to grow into bigger enterprises.
- Lulwa Al-Sudairy, founder of Artistia.com is an entrepreneur in e-commerce. She promotes local designers and artists on the first Arabic online social marketplace. She was named as a top 3 finalist winner at this year’s MIT Enterprise Forum.