How to empower women in Jordan

Women empowering women at its best! Bara’a Al-Shobaki is leading the road to business success and mentoring Jordanian women looking to reach financial independence.

Bara’a Al-Shobaki is a young entrepreneur running a micro factory producing beauty products, oils, and vinegars in Zarqa, Jordan. She is succeeding in business after overcoming obstacles that she would never have faced if she were a man. In addition to running her business, she oversees an association that focuses on empowering Jordanian women in finance.

A natural soap and oil woman entrepreneur from Jordan empowering other young women to become financially independent and to follow their dreams.
Bara'a Al-Shokabi, inspiring Jordanian women

Her story is the one of a resilient and perseverant young woman, overcoming cultural and gender bias in a Muslim country. She was inspired by her own mother who created fabrics and got successful selling them abroad, sustaining the entire family. Perhaps this gave Bara’a the strength and determination to start her own business, even though all banks initially turned her down.

In Jordan, women who complete university are expected to work in the service industry, doing jobs such as teaching. There is a culture of shame: it is shameful for a woman to work in production – it is shameful to produce vinegar or soap and to expose ones' products to other traders.

Then came the challenge with the banks and trying to get a loan to set up a factory. Almost mission impossible, they were asking for more than one sponsor to vouch for her. For a while she continued to produce her soaps and oils in her home. Eventually, she did win some awards during her economic studies for her products and this finally convinced a bank to step in and grant her a loan to open a factory.

"I have many other young women coming to me asking for advice and motivation. I tell them that they should love what they do. - Bara’a Al-Shobaki"

Through Care, Bara’a received training, support and a grant for her business and is now the proud owner of a small factory. She sells her products in salons, shops, bazaars and online.

As well as putting only natural ingredients in her products, Bara’a makes use of leftover oils in soaps and cleaning materials.

She is still working on her goals, finishing her MBA and integrating science into her work using natural Jordanian resources.

"I don’t see value in personal success. Success is having a positive impact on my community.” - Bara'a Al-Shokabi