Small Business Saturday: Celebrate Refugee Business Owners in Iraq

Millions of you will head out to local coffee shops, boutiques, bookstores, and restaurants today for Small Business Saturday.

But here’s another way you can celebrate: by supporting the brightest new entrepreneurs… in Iraq.

This year, you’ve empowered dozens of displaced families from Syria and Iraq. You’ve bought their soap, funded their corner stores and seamstress shops, and invested in their creativity as they got their businesses off the ground.

We don’t believe in handouts as a long-term solution to poverty and conflict. We believe the best way to help someone who’s had their power stripped from them is to work with them and create something they can take ownership of—something they can take pride in, something that uniquely matches their talents and skills.

This is precisely what you did for Faris, a man displaced by ISIS, in desperate need of income to support his family. We worked with Faris to start Kinsman Supply Co., a new line of hand-forged soap for men. Now Faris is able to support his family, pay rent on a home for himself and 14 relatives, expand his business, and even purchase a used truck to help distribute his soap locally.

You showed up again when women who were displaced by the war in Syria were in desperate need of money to support their families. They created wonderful knit and crochet pieces to sell in local markets as well as in our Gift Catalog, as part of our Sisterhood Collection. They also created knit ornaments  to commemorate your gifts of chickens and sheep for other displaced families.

You showed up for  women in Baghdad—all of whom have been affected by violence in Iraq—who make the most beautiful candles by hand. We knew right away that your support would be the difference-maker for these women, so we got to work sharing their candles with you. This is how Sisterhood Candles were born.

If there’s one thing we want to celebrate this Small Business Saturday, it’s the ingenuity and work ethic of local refugees-turned-business-owners. You have stood with them in so many ways this year, helping start so many businesses around Iraq—not by forcing local artists and craftsmen into a box, but by working with each one to create products that they love and can take ownership of.

We believe so strongly in the power of local business to lift refugees out of poverty that we wanted to share some of their small businesses with you this year through our very first Gift Catalog.

Support Iraq’s brightest entrepreneurs today!


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