From dreamer to doer: Triumphs of a Woman Entrepreneur

Fatenah Arbsh was only 12-year-old when she had to flee from from Syria in 2012 with her eight siblings, carrying nothing more than the clothes on their back. Despite her young age, Fatenah always had the mindset of an entrepreneur, and she was determined to create a better future for herself and her family.

She started looking for jobs when she was 16 to generate income and support her family. Her first real job was at a local beauty salon in her neighbourhood. However, she always knew that she had bigger dreams, and she aspired to open her own salon.

In January 2022, she came across the scholarship offered by Qudra 2 local partner National Company for Employment and Training (NET), which provided skills development for employment. She was accepted for the make-up courses and she saw this as an opportunity to improve herself and pave her way towards a professional career and success.

Building on her previous experience in the beauty sector, Fatenah learned about how to manage a small business during the courses. She started her own salon at home. Aware of the limited job opportunities in the market, Fatenah invited two of her colleagues to join her and they soon became permanent workers in her salon, showcasing her leadership and entrepreneurial spirit.

Reflecting on her journey, Fatenah’s words inspire others: “If you have lost hope in life, you must find it again. This programme brought ambition back into my life and gave me new perspective. When I think of the future, I feel that everything is going to be ok, and so should all of you!”

Fetanah’s story is a testament to resilience, determination and entrepreneurship as she rose above adversity despite many challenges on the way.

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