The Story of a Soap

“I never thought that 20 JD and a can of olive oil will change my life”. This is what Najwa Mohammad, a soap-making Syrian business owner said describing her journey since she fled war-torn Syria in 2013. Najwa and her family came to Jordan with a wound that will never heal caused by the death of her son who was shot during the war. However, she decided to rebuild a life for her family and started a small business with help from a Jordanian community-based organisation whose small donation changed Najwa’s life. As a Syrian entrepreneur, Najwa faced and still faces many challenges such as; legal challenges pertaining to registering her own start-up, financial difficulties, lack of business management and marketing skills, and the absence of local economic networks. These challenges did not stop Najwa. Instead, they made her more determined to fight for her business in order to give her family a better life, to be independent and gain control of her own life and empower other women to do the same. This policy-brief highlights Najwa’s success story and provides an analysis of the context and challenges she faced on her way to entrepreneurship. The brief puts forward key policy-recommendations responding to these challenges, such as business owners and local corporates receiving tax incentives when cooperating with Syrian entrepreneurs. It will also shed light on the economic contribution of these entrepreneurs to Jordan’s economy should the policy makers ease the registration regulations of start-ups.