Entrepreneurship in Hebron Feature: Aya Al Muhtasib and Razan Al Bayad Founders of Yaqut

Youth unemployment in Palestine is at a staggering 42 percent as of the first quarter of 2020. For graduates, unemployment has become a persistent pattern in the Palestinian landscape. At 58 percent, more than half of youth graduates are unemployed, which breaks down to 73 percent for females and 40 percent males. 
Yet, amidst this reality, a new generation of Palestinians is emerging, working to overcome the odds by embracing the power of entrepreneurship. Hebron based, Aya Al Muhtasib, and Razan Al Bayad are amongst this new wave of self-starters working to seize new opportunities and contribute to the growth of their local economy.
The perfect opportunity presented itself when MENACatalyst launched its latest GIZ funded entrepreneurial access and support project in Hebron. Al Muhtasib and Al Bayad did not hesitate and joined the project to start a small enterprise of their very own. Via access to Palestine’s leading entrepreneurs and business experts, a series of business and financial development webinars, and mentorship sessions, the duo have gained the skills needed to launch their specialty handicraft e-shop, Yaqut. MC has also helped the founders secure access to seed funding, which will be used towards the procurement of services and goods to kick-start their entrepreneurial careers.  
“The idea behind Yaqut started when my long-time friend and co-founder, Razan, who would embroider traditional Palestinian dresses “thobs” and designs and post them on social media, which attracted considerable attention. We then got together and decided to take this project to the next level and began increasing output and creating an array of items that appeal to everyone,” says Al Muhtasib.

From embroidery embellished picture frames to book covers and tapestries, Yaqut has grown to include a variety of different items, all personally handmade. However, Yaqut’s claim to fame has been its vintage-inspired clothing, which keeps the e-shop’s customers coming back.
“If you are looking for a distinctive way to add a bit of color, charm, and vintage flair to your home or wardrobe, Yaqut has you covered. We use the best materials to ensure the quality of our work, and we want customers to know that all our embroidery pieces are made with the utmost love, care, and ethical consideration,” says Al Bayed. 
MENACatalyst is dedicated to fostering a new generation of creative entrepreneurs, like Al Muhtasib and Al Bayad. Through a series of integrated services, emerging Palestinian entrepreneurs can access the resources and support needed to realize their economic potential.
To learn more about Yaqut, visit: @yaqut.friend1

Written by
Leila Farraj
- Palestine
Leila Farraj is a freelance consultant for MENACatalyst’s Digital Content . Since the launch of MENACatalyst, Leila has been integral in developing and managing content that strategically reflec... Leila Profile
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