Self-Employmet in Jerusalem: Yasmeen Abu Sbeih Founder of UNIQUE

Aspiring self-starter Yasmeen Abu Sbeih is all too familiar with the world of retail, having extensive experience working for a local clothing shop in Jerusalem. However, Yasmeen soon realized that she had larger ambitions and wanted to open a shop dedicated to unique decorative household items that infuse the art of epoxy in every design. 

During this time, COVID-19 struck the world, forcing many workers of all ages out of their jobs due to strict social isolation measures to curb the spread of the virus. However, Yasmeen was not deterred but motivated and dedicated her to conceptualizing the idea behind a potential brand unique to her artistic inclinations.
Suffice to say, starting a new business is no easy feat. Up-and-coming business owners like Yasmeen not only require a set of practical business skills and digital savvy but also calls for access to networks needed for the establishment of a viable venture.   

To Yasmeen’s relief, MENACatalyst had just launched its latest GIZ funded program, Empowering Youth Through Digital Skills Development, in Jerusalem. The program offers the city’s youth access to an array of in-demand digital skills needed to set up viable online businesses or place them in entry-employment opportunities to gain the practical skills and experience to achieve long-term success.

For Yasmeen, developing a business and financial framework and accessing the networks of support and digital skills training allowed her to translate a long-developing income-generating idea into an online business. Yasmeen soon joined the program and has since connected to seasoned digital marketers that know what it takes to set up and maintain a viable online enterprise and the strategies needed to reach potential customers in targeted markets. 

“MENACatalyst has been helping me since day one. I always knew that I needed to learn how to manage my social media accounts and strategies to improve my project to become market-ready and sell more. I also didn’t know that I can dream big and sell my products outside the country. It’s only been a month, and I already learned a lot. MENACatalyst has helped me rebrand my small business to appeal to a more expansive market base,” says Yasmeen.

Since then, Yasmeen has developed her very own e-shop, UNIQUE. True to its name, UNIQUE offers customers the chance to take home a range of distinctive home accessories that infuse traditional Palestinian motifs crafted via the art of epoxy. Products include coasters, notebooks, an array of customized gifts, and so much more.

With her newfound support, Yasmeen hopes to build a small business that can first and foremost help her fund her way through college while building a brand that is well-known in her home country and even worldwide.

Written by
Leila Farraj
- Palestine
Leila Farraj is MENACatalyst’s Digital Content Strategist. Since the launch of MENACatalyst, Leila has been integral in developing and managing content that strategically reflects the overall mi... Leila Profile
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