6 social enterprises supporting local communities in the Middle East & North Africa

At Pink Jinn, we are all about supporting small businesses, women-owned businesses and social enterprises (which is why we started The Souq!). Here’s a list of some of our favourite socially conscious brands from the Middle East and North Africa which provide fair wages and employment opportunities to local people – particularly women and refugees.

Between them, these wonderful companies produce a variety of brilliant products and services including gorgeous homeware, beautiful jewellery and clothing, natural beauty and hygiene products, and even language lessons. We hope you love them and their epic missions as much as we do!

Moroccan rugs ethical sustainable small business

Sitti Soap

Sitti Soap is a social enterprise based in Jordan that creates handmade, natural olive oil soap, inspired by traditional soap making in Palestine. The organisation brings fair-wage employment to Palestinian refugees in Jerash Refugee Camp in Jordan, with the aim of empowering and restoring hope to women refugees.

Sitti was founded by Noora Sharrab, a social entrepreneur of Palestinian origin who has worked tirelessly throughout her career to improve access to education for refugee women and girls. Sitti Soap is closely affiliated with Noora’s NGO, Hopes for Women. They offer a range of natural soaps and beautiful gift boxes, all available on their website.

Palestinian refugees social enterprise Sitti Soap

Souk & Soul

Souk and Soul was founded by Felicia in Washington DC to build a bridge between artisans in Morocco and customers in the US and around the world. Souk and Soul contributes to the preservation of Moroccan crafts, while providing fair wages to artisans and entrepreneurs in communities across Morocco. They focus on working with small, family-owned businesses and independent cooperatives.

Their beautiful handmade products are responsibly made and ethically sourced, and we LOVE their edgy, boho-chic designs. They offer a range of gorgeous homeware, Moroccan rugs, jewellery and wellness products.

Moroccan homeware social enterprise

Muhra

Muhra is a social enterprise based in Istanbul that employs Syrian women who fled conflict in their home country and are rebuilding their lives in Turkey. They aim to represent the growth, strength and resilience of women all around the world.

Muhra produces a range of jewellery, clothing and accessories, but our favourite is their “Drop Earrings, Not Bombs’ range, which includes a gorgeous array of colourful drop earrings, with new products added every few months to reflect the season’s colours. Their products are created in collaboration with Turkish NGO, Small Projects Istanbul, which houses Muhra in its community centre.

drop earrings not bombs syrian women social enterprise

Moor Morocco

Moor Morocco is a sustainable lifestyle brand that produces stunning Moroccan slippers, or ‘babouches’. Their gorgeous slippers are made with love and celebrate traditional Moroccan craftsmanship, with a modern twist.

The company was founded by Maryam who had fallen in love with Morocco and stumbled across the mesmerising babouche souq on her travels in Marrakech. With their beautiful and unique designs, Moor Morocco celebrates nature, the art of craftsmanship and the beauty of knowing who made your goods.

Moroccan babouches social enterprise

NaTakallam

NaTakallam offers award-winning, high-quality language learning programs delivered by refugees. The organisation was founded by Aline Sara, who was inspired by her education in the US and moved by the mass displacement of people in Syria to create a company that builds bridges between language learners and victims of conflict in need of employment.

The NaTakallam platform offers the opportunity for learners of Arabic, French, Persian and Spanish to practice their skills online, while building friendships with people from different cultural backgrounds.

online language exchange with refugees natakallam

Riad Zitoun

Riad Zitoun is a Marrakech-based concept store selling unique, high quality beauty, fashion and interior products handmade by Moroccan artisans. Their suppliers include local fair-trade and women’s cooperatives, and a portion of their profits goes towards environmental and social development in Morocco.

We highly recommend their range of natural beauty products, created with pure, certified organic Argan oil (known as the ‘liquid gold of Morocco’). Argan oil is derived from the nut of the Argan tree, and Riad Zitoun’s is produced using traditional, natural techniques. The process is expertly completed by local Berber women in southwestern Morocco.

Moroccan Argan oil social enterprise Riad Zitoun

We hope these gorgeous brands have inspired you and that you’ll fall in love with their products just like we did! We’d love to hear from you – what are your favourite small businesses, women-owned businesses and social enterprises? We’re always looking for new and exciting brands doing good in the world to share with our wonderful community of socially and culturally conscious world-changers.

And don’t forget to check out our own range of beautiful cultural and craft products from the Middle East and North Africa in the Pink Jinn Souq! We source our products from local entrepreneurs and artisans and give 1/3 of our products to charities working with victims of conflict in the region.

 

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