Follow these women-led businesses that will take over the region soon!

January 31, 2022 by STEP Conference

Venture Spark4Her is an initiative of Mashreq Gender Facility (MGF), International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the World Bank in collaboration with Invest2Innovate (i2i) and Step. The program was created to support entrepreneurship support organizations with resources to build out their programs and improve their support to women-led businesses around raising investment; and to support women-led businesses to become investment-ready. The training program was run over multiple cohorts focusing with groups from Iraq and Lebanon during the Summer of 2021. 

women founders

The program will now scale across the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) under the “She Wins Arabia” umbrella. 

Here are 11 women-led businesses from the program you might not have heard of:

  1. RiginO

Foodtech & Supply Chain

Founder: Sabah Corm

RiginO is a real-time end-to-end traceability platform that capitalizes on evolving technologies and industry standards, allowing food supply chain stakeholders to log the details of every transaction across the supply chain to promote enhanced data transparency and provide trusted information to consumers. 

Why did Sabah start her business? 

To use reliable technology to enhance transparency in the agro-food sector and have more trust in the product we consume every day.

Sabah’s Vision: To become the leading trusted traceability platform across the MENA region.

Reach Sabah at sabah(at)

Follow RiginO:

  1. Architecture in a Box

Education/Online Learning

Founder: Aseel Honein

Architecture in a Box offers fun educational game products and workshops for kids and teenagers to learn about cities and the built environment. We have a unique learning method to help kids enjoy learning and retaining information inside the classrooms in various topics such as geometry, history, science, language, and culture. We are the first to offer online hands-on career orientation workshops for those who are interested in pursuing Architecture.

Why did Aseel start her business? 

As an experienced architect and dedicated educator, Aseel was able to identify three main problems that revolve around architecture, education and society that are addressed in our activities: 1) Lack of information retention inside the classrooms; 2) Lack of proper career orientation for architecture; 3) a very dear cause to her heart is gender equity in the workplace. 85% of the Lebanese female architects do not practice and globally speaking women are still underrepresented in the Architecture field.

Aseel’s Vision: In a technologically advanced world, smart cities will emerge. Architecture in a Box aims to aspire kids to become Smart Citizens with brilliant innovations and Future.

Reach Aseel at architectureinabox(at)

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  1. Nada Ghazal Fine Jewelry

Jewelry Products

Founder: Ghada Makarem

Nada Ghazal aspires to emotionally connect with women around the world through timeless handcrafted fine jewelry. While her jewels are in essence deeply personal, they convey universal emotions, allowing the wearer to embrace them as part of their own story. Nada’s clients often layer her bold feminine designs together, building their own powerful narrative, collecting her pieces over time.

Why did Ghada start her business? 

Nada’s admiration for artisanship was first sparked at age 6 seeing her grandmother weave crochet and needlework which she would wear as bracelets, rings and other accessories. As jewelry design was not available in Lebanon, she studied Graphic design and traveled abroad where she became a creative head for leading international advertising companies, exposing her to brand building for which she won several international awards.  In 2003, Nada returned to Beirut to pursue her true passion for jewelry design. As an artist, designer and entrepreneur, Nada felt that there was a gap in the jewelry market, the feeling she found was common to other women like her after some research. She knew that the global woman was looking at accessories as a way to express herself, and was looking for unique individualistic pieces, that reflected her image.

Ghada’s Vision: The brand ambition is to become a reference in the global jewelry industry with an ultimate goal to perhaps be recognised and acquired by one of the top 10 players.

Reach Ghada at info(at)

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  1. Oumoumah

Sustainability/Clothing Products

Founder: Leonie Hajj

Kids grow up so fast, so mothers are left with unwanted gently worn clothes, clutter all over the house and a need to purchase additional items for their ever growing children. Oumoumah makes a mother’s life easier by actually buying these unwanted clothes after handpicking the very best, taking good care of them and reselling them at less than 1/4 of their market value. We build a community of mothers who are aware and empowered towards cherishing a sustainable environment.

Why did Leonie start her business? 

Leonie witnessed mothers around her struggling to find good quality items at affordable prices for their little ones. At the same time, she noticed that these same mothers stacked up their gently used kids’ clothes in a closet somewhere, found it extremely expensive to buy new ones and were often left disappointed by how little these clothes are being used, knowing that kids grow in a blink of an eye! Being the problem solver and environment advocate that she is, Leonie found value in these no longer needed items, and launched Oumoumah with the help of her co-founder Lamia, a tech head and sustainability enthusiast.

Leonie’s Vision: To lead mothers to experience a healthier shopping behavior in the MENA region.

Reach Leonie at leo(at)

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  1. Ringlet

Education/Artificial Intelligence

Founder: Ghadir Al Saghir

Ringlet is an all-in-one learning management system to meet learner needs! With the help of Ringlet’s AI software that analyzes learner results, educators can customize learning objectives, organize annual academic programs, and track learner performance through Ringlet performance reports. Ringlet can also help you develop and upload your curricula on the platform. On the other hand, students can engage in online assessments and exercises, and be part of an online community. Ringlet offers a subscription-based model that depends on the number of features selected. 

Why did Ghadir start her business? 

While many learning communities face student drop-out rates whose reasons go unrecognized, Ringlet decided to utilize technology to help track such cases and embrace learners who may face difficulties. That’s why Ringlet developed a Learning Management System supported by an artificial intelligence software that analyzes learner results, and helps educators track their student performance. That way, educators can report and work with the student according to their specific case, so that each learner gets the learning experience they deserve.

Ghadir’s Vision: Ghadir wants every classroom to be equipped with the right skillset to utilize technology efficiently. With the help of Ringlet’s platform and AI software, educators can customize the learning path for students, promoting their strengths and working on their areas of development. That way, Ringlet can build a borderless community of learners across the globe.

Reach Ghadir at info(at)

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  1. Diwama

Sustainability/Artificial Intelligence

Founder: Aya Hariri

More than 100 billion USD of recyclables are lost in the environment every year. This is because more than 85% of recyclables are not recovered due to inefficiencies and lack of transparency in the operation which makes it nearly impossible to keep track of waste materials through the recycling process resulting in a loss of $25 per ton of waste. This is why Diwama is introducing an AI-based image recognition software that automates the detection and analysis of waste for waste management companies. The software collects data on waste type, count and brand and informs the operator to make data driven actions and increase recycling rates by up to 15%, thus increasing revenues by $13 per ton of waste.

Why did Aya start her business? 

Aya’s home country, Lebanon, has always been struggling with poor waste management practices. In 2015, landfills exceeded their capacities and waste accumulated on the streets and blocked a lot of roads. Up till this day, the waste crisis is still on. Wanting to be part of the solution, Diwama is now a startup whose mission is to utilize digital transformation to shape the future of waste management and push the industry towards an automated and more sustainable future of waste. 

Aya’s Vision: To make waste management seamlessly accessible and affordable for the whole world through technology, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data. Diwama aims to bridge the gap between developed and developing countries by introducing affordable highly efficient technologies that elevate the performance of waste management and improve the efficiency of human workers while increasing their job opportunities.

Reach Aya at info(at)

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  1. Ya Khadijah

Consultancy/ Services

Founder: Khadijah Abdul Nabi

Ya Khadijah is a female-led brand consultancy serving entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North African region. Ya Khadijah specializes in creating and curating brand clarity, strategy and identity to level up start ups and build confidence for business growth.

Why did Khadijah start her business? 

Khadijah started the company because she wanted to remind women that the confidence and clarity they seek is already within them. You just need someone with the right set of skills to help along the way. Ya Khadijah is that consultancy to help. 

Khadijah’s Vision: Her vision is one where female business owners have a female energy focused process and space to be able to help bring their ideas and business forward through branding. 

Reach Khadijah at studio(at)

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  1. hadiyati


Founder: Rhea Abboud

hadiyati is a free online service that allows you to create and share your gifts’ registry for any event with your family and friends, receive your desired gifts, organize your group gifting, and raise money for social and humanitarian causes. hadiyati also offers innovative gifting ideas such as sports, cultural, artistic and touristic activities. hadiyati’s concept is applicable to any type of event or occasion, which differentiates them. 

Why did Rhea start her business? 

The idea came up out of a personal need Rhea experienced with her kids who receive plenty of gifts for their birthdays and for Christmas that are not all necessary and often end up in a closet. So Rhea wished she could receive the gifts that her kids really needed. And this is how the idea of a gift registry was born with hadiyati.

Rhea’s Vision: hadiyati’s vision is to become the leading online service for gifting in the region.

Reach Rhea at info(at)


  1. Spreadly


Founder: Maha Mrad

Spreadly is a manufacturer of healthy, delicious , minimalist and convenient nut spreads. Spreadly are re-creating spreads by taking out all unnecessary ingredients from the products we love and keeping only the essential ones. 

Why did Maha start her business? 

It all started while she was hunting for healthy and delicious peanut butter spread. All the products available in the market were lacking. 

Maha’s Vision: To spread joy and satisfaction into consumer lives one spread at a time. 

Reach Maha at sugarnspicebeirut1(at)

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  1. Rania’s Designs 


Founder: Rania Al-Abiad Makhlouf

Rania’s Designs are customized handmade outfits and accessories. She designs and sews outfits for birthday parties, weddings, and more with accessories to complete the full outfit. Rania’s Designs also sews handmade facemasks customized by size or style, with print or embroidery, handmade bags, and more. 

Why did Rania start her business? 

Rania started her company when she was searching for a special outfit for her daughter’s birthday.  The outfits in the market were similar so she customized and sewed her outfit and every mother wanted a customized handmade outfit for her daughter after seeing her designs.

Rania’s Vision: Rania would like to grow her brand and diversify her products and production. 

Reach Rania at [email protected]

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  1. Munjizoon

Education/Online Learning

Founder: Noor Al-Janabi

Munjizoon provides blended learning supplies and solutions. Munjizoon sells educational workbooks designed following world-class standards and accompanied by online learning resources. Munjizoon’s products are specialized for elementary-school students adhering to the local curriculum requirements. Munjizoon is currently launching its first product of educational bundle for 1st Grade in Iraq!

Why did Noor start her business? 

One day Noor had a dream to go back to school. She has lived in times where it was seriously difficult to access education. It was illegal to have internet in Iraq. To save the family during wartime, her dad had to move them to live in an area that is far away from the city, and hence from schools. Noor pledged that she would not only succeed in school and get a job, but that she would try to make it possible for all people in my community.

Noor’s Vision: To bring Word-Class educational standards to the local curriculum of primary schools. Munjizoon wants to help families see their children grow to become high achievers. 

Reach Noor at 

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Check out more details for the upcoming “She Wins Arabia” trainings and apply by February 8th 2022: