April 28, 2023

By creating jobs, we are investing in our future and building a better society for all

Rahaf Abu Aisheh is a beauty enthusiast who co-founded Salon Beauty Booking, an online application revolutionising the Arab beauty industry. Salon, which has generated more than $280,000 in revenue, is dedicated to fostering inclusivity and promoting Arabic beauty content online. Moreover, the company has created seven new job opportunities since 2021.

Rahaf Abu Aisheh, the Palestinian co-founder and CEO of Salon Beauty Booking, is a young woman on a mission to revolutionise the beauty industry. Rahaf’s vision stems from her own challenges of finding affordable and reputable salons in Palestine. “As a beauty enthusiast, I struggled to find the right salons and realised that other women had similar problems. Searching for salons on social media was too time-consuming, so I took matters into my own hands and created a solution,” says 30-year-old Rahaf.

She brought Salon Beauty Booking to life, a platform that connects customers with high-quality beauty products, top-tier salons, talented makeup artists, and a platform for users to learn tips and tricks from trusted influencers who share their passion for beauty and wellness. “Most beauty content online is in English, this is why we are working towards encouraging Arabic-speaking content creators through our app.” 

Rahaf standing on the right during the RiseUp summit in Cairo 2023. © SPARK, 2023
Rahaf with other Palestinian entrepreneurs at the RiseUP summit 2023 in Cairo as part of the "from innovation to creation" programme.© SPARK, 2023
Salon Beauty Booking's booth at the RiseUP summit in Cairo 2023. © SPARK, 2023

Rahaf benefited from the From Innovation to Creation programme, which is funded by the European Union in collaboration with SPARK and Flow Accelerator, in which, she received customized one-on-one mentorship, marketing support, and service optimisation to grow her business. Additionally, she participated in various workshops and networking events, allowing her to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs and investors.

As part of the programme, Rahaf participated in the RiseUp Summit in Cairo, which provided her with an opportunity to explore new markets and attract new clients for her business. She praised the excellent work being done by SPARK and Flow Accelerator, emphasizing that the programme was the first of its kind in Palestine. “SPARK and Flow Accelerator are doing amazing work. The From Innovation to Creation programme focuses on how startups need to upscale to new markets, which is a first of its kind in Palestine.” Rahaf is excited about this programme especially because Salon is planning to expand its services to markets in Saudi Arabia, implementing innovative technology such as AI tools to enhance user experience. 

“Society’s expectations were holding me back”

Rahaf faced many challenges on her way to success. “There were definitely times when I felt like society’s expectations around gender roles were holding me back. This common stereotype unfairly limits opportunities for women,” explains Rahaf. Yet despite societal expectations around gender roles and obstacles in obtaining funding, Rahaf now leads a successful startup with over $280,000 in revenue since 2021. 

Building a team of 7

Rahaf describes her journey as filled with numerous successes, from receiving positive customer feedback, securing funding grants, and expanding the team. She emphasises that the most significant success for her is building her team of seven employees. “Having a job is crucial as it enables individuals to attain a sense of purpose, financial stability, and the ability to make a valuable contribution to society. It also facilitates the acquisition of new skills, experience, and the opportunity to build a professional network.” 

Rahaf’s commitment to promoting Arabic content is also proof of her dedication to inclusivity and diversity in the beauty and wellness industry. Rahaf’s journey towards success demonstrates the importance of resilience, passion and skills in the face of gender biases and stereotypes that plague the tech and beauty industry. “It is important for companies and individuals to actively work towards creating more inclusive and equitable digital spaces for women.”