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Popular market in Beirut for small startups


An Nahar daily spotlighted the Garage Souk in Mar Mkhail neighborhood, an initiative launched by engineer Jihan Zahawi to support owners of small startups to get their business off the ground. The goods on display vary, including household supplies, handicrafts, traditional mouneh, hand-made soaps, locally-produced beauty products, embroidery, home décor and gadgets, used clothes and books, home-made foods and sweets, kids’ wear, and Christmas gifts and decorations. An Nahar highlighted the projects of women entrepreneurs benefiting from the souk initiative, like Yara, for example, who kicked off her gluten-free home-made sweets business six weeks ago. The souk, Yara explained, is in fact the first outlet for marketing and promoting her goods. As for Jana who prepares traditional mouneh items for a year now, she said that were it not for the garage souk, people would not know my products. The newspaper also mentioned other owners of participating startups who found in the souk a glimpse of hope in the hard days. According to Zahawi, around 150 entrepreneurs are now active in the souk, which economically benefited 100 to 150 households and secured jobs for some 200 maintenance and repair workers, among others, while allowing small startup owners to market their products with no registration or participation fees. Concerning prices, Zahawi said designers and artisans who are usually high-priced, are prompted here to reduce their prices, adding, it is a real popular bazaar that suits all classes. And on the occasion of the holidays, we are planning to open during week days as well, starting next week, Zahawi boasted. (An Nahar, December 13, 2020)

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