We need to nurture the smart, scrappy, brave entrepreneurs and changemakers: Sahar Wahbeh


April 6, 2023 | By Rupkatha B

We need to nurture the smart, scrappy, brave entrepreneurs and changemakers: Sahar Wahbeh

UAE-based socialpreneur Sahar Wahbeh believes that there is no dearth of entrepreneurial ideas and changemakers in the region. “We need to nurture the smart, scrappy, brave entrepreneurs and changemakers, not only the privileged and heavily funded ones,” she stressed.

“The barriers to entry must be lowered to encourage talented entrepreneurs to start and run their small businesses. It has certainly become better over the years but there is a long way to go.”

A decade ago, Wahbeh founded a brand called Dumyé that handcrafts beautiful, personalised and purposeful cloth dolls with a buy-one-give-one business model. Every time someone buys a doll from Dumyé the brand gives one to a child in need.

“Gifting dolls is something we love doing and will continue to incorporate into our giving programme. But around a year ago we expanded our giving strategy to better deliver on our mission of bringing love and light into the lives of both our children and the children unspoken for. After years of seeing the poor outlook towards children in need we wanted to make a deeper impact in their lives. Now when anyone purchases a doll from Dumyé we either provide education, school meals or a doll to a child in need,” Wahbeh explained.

Through Dumyé’s give-back programme thousands of dolls, meals and school days have been gifted to underprivileged children around the world. What began in 2013 as a lesson centred around humanity and compassion for Wahbeh’s daughter has today turned into a brand with a presence in over 22 countries.

Operating a brand with a social core Wahbeh feels that in this region removing restrictive regulations around giving back is necessary. “Currently, it’s complicated, intimidating and makes it impossible to support smaller underfunded non-profits.”

In summation when asked how important is it for businesses to have a sense of purpose, Wahbeh said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, how are you meant to get there? Purpose gives a business direction. When a brand’s higher purpose is equal to or greater than its bottomline, change is bound to happen.”

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