Sharqi Shop – home of craftspeople

In 2018, the Sharqi platform won the European Youth Award for the best project in Europe and the Middle East. (Photo: Handouts from Yazan Qawasmi)
AMMAN — Sharqi Shop is a social business-to-business enterprise platform that connects businesses to talented product designers and artisans in the Middle East. It helps designers and artisans with the whole process, from packaging, taking professional photos of their products, and writing professional content.اضافة اعلان

Sharqi Shop`s journey started in 2012 when Saleem Najjar, a Syrian entrepreneur, e-commerce advisor and the co-founder of Sharqi Shop, moved to Jordan due to the conflict in Syria, where he had worked as a consultant for more than 300 online stores. He managed the World Bank Group initiative to support Syrian entrepreneurs in Jordan, then started Sharqi Shop.

Najjar raised funds to launch his startup from Oasis500 and the European Union, and built partnerships with UNICEF and Mercy Corps.

Sharqi has its own unique approach to assisting Jordanian and Syrian artists and designers; it helps them reveal the hidden beauty of the Middle East to the world by enabling them to start, manage, and scale their handmade businesses without having to worry about logistics, customer service, or even marketing. As a result, they are solely focused on their goods and craft supplies.

In an interview with Jordan News, Yazan Qawasmi, products manager at Sharqi Shop, said: “Sharqi Shop started as a B2C platform in the first five years, achieved great success and increased demand for product. During those years we received five B2B orders from some corporates: the Arab Bank in Jordan, Tamara Restaurant in the Arab Gulf, Astrolabe in Jordan, and a shop in Mexico. We noticed that B2B business requires the same effort as B2C, and it achieves much higher revenues.”

As a result, Qawasmi and Najjar decided to change the platform business model from B2C to B2B, as Qawasmi developed the business plan, competitors’ plans, and the mechanism to implement the plan.

According to Qawasmi, “designers and artisans at Sharqi undergo Sharqi training as they learn how to take professional photos for their products, negotiate with clients, and possess soft business skills”.

Mohammad Al-Jadab, a wood-painting artist at Sharqi Shop, told Jordan News he “moved to Jordan from Syria in 2013. As a wood-painting artist, I have faced some challenges. Wood-painting is not a popular profession in Jordan, so marketing is critical. Sharqi platform provided me with the opportunity to pursue my passion.”

In 2018, the Sharqi platform won the European Youth Award for the best project in Europe and the Middle East.

“We expanded our network to be more than 130 product designers and artisans,” said Qawasmi.

Sharqi is home for talented Jordanian and Syrian artisans and designers; it inspires them to make a change that lasts.

According to Qawasmi, “our vision is to make Sharqi a marketplace that connects our designers and artisans with the buyers”.

Read more Entrepreneurship
Jordan News