Meet Noora Sharrab, co-founder of Sitti Soap and recipient of 2 of funds empowered by Tease Tea's Resiliency Fund and Encircled's Impact Fund!
Who is Noora Sharrab?
Noora Sharrab obtained her Masters degree in Political Science with a Specialization in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at York University in Toronto, Canada. She co-founded an NGO in 2009 called, Hopes for Women in Education (hopesforwomen.org), to provide higher-education scholarships, skills training and online language development (via Banaat Connect – banaatconnect.org) in the process. She worked for several years with United Nations agencies in Jordan focusing on education, international development and relief services.
Her active role working with the refugee communities in Jordan pushed her towards fundraising and building a Women’s Centre in the Gaza Refugee Camp in Jerash, Jordan, which currently employs over 38 full-time refugee women and men in the process, has trained and worked with over hundreds of refugees and served over 1000 refugees locally in the community in the process. In 2013, Noora partnered with Jacqueline Sofia to establish a Social Enterprise, Sitti Soap (www.sittisoap.com) with the purpose to empower refugee women through employment and to help enhance their opportunity to become financially independent and self-sustainable.
What is the ultimate vision that you have for Sitti Soap?
My vision is to one day have a factory that employs hundreds of employees directly from the refugee community that as such would impact thousands of people in the camp - creating self-reliance, financial independence and empowering refugee women and men to use their skills to support their livelihood.
When asked “What are things about yourself or your business that you were told has to change in order to fit into the traditional mould of a successful entrepreneur? How have you begun to overcome them?” Noora responded:
I was told that the model simply wouldn't work. That who cares about the soap. That my product was too expensive. That no one would buy it and that there's way too much competition in the market. However, we saw that this wasn't just about the soap, this wasn't just about the product but we had a bigger story and meaning to share with the world through each handcrafted piece.
Why did you decide to join the Founders Fund?
I joined to get an opportunity to apply for non-repayable / non-equity based funding (which ironically, I ended up holding myself back from applying when it came time to applying for funding ), however, I was brave (or as Vivian would say, I had the AUDACITY) to apply for the Resilient Fund + the Encircled Impact Fund, which I was a recipient winner for both (totalling $10K) in funding!
Find out more about Sitti Soap and Noora by following them on Instagram -->