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Dalal is the founder and CEO of Kopftuchmädchen. Her parents are from Lebanon with Palestinian origins. She was born in Berlin where she grew up and started her business. She is a social worker and an empowerment trainer against Islamophobia. Kopftuchmädchen aims to empower Muslim women, especially those who wear a headscarf. With her business, she wants to show that amazing Muslim role models are out there and not only in Germany but also in all German-speaking countries like Switzerland and Austria. On their YouTube channel, there are many inspiring dynamic interviews. They also occasionally arrange events where Muslim women can connect, empower and support each other.
What motivated you to start your business?
Actually, it was Corona! I realized there wasn’t any German content on Instagram or anywhere in social media telling the stories of Muslim women with a headscarf. I chose to wear a headscarf when I was 21 and I faced many obstacles. It was challenging from so many different perspectives so I have set my mind to start a company. My goal was to do what I felt was missing. So it made its way. And people started to text me from all over Germany and I started to have long calls with people I never met or talked to before, they were thanking me for doing that.
What challenges have you encountered as an entrepreneur?
Well, there were many because I'm not a business person, I'm a social worker. And the main challenges were the topics about finance. I just want to help people and make a positive impact, so it was difficult for me to think how I could set up a running business out of my idea. Bringing these two things together: social impact and creating a sustainable business model out of that was the biggest challenge for me. The second challenge is the funding, and as we are getting more people on board, of course I need to think about what kind of leader I want to be. What is the best way to lead my team?
What has empowered you during your journey as an entrepreneur?
The community we have on Instagram and the stunning feedback we got. This has given me so much motivation during the times when I thought: Okay, I'm done. And role models with similar experiences and circumstances who proved that it is possible to build a running business and be independent. Talking to them was really inspiring and gave me the energy to go forward. And basically, we applied for the innovation fellowship at Media Lab, and they support innovation, media companies, and they helped me to build on my idea, to grow into something more than just Instagram content.
What was the best advice that you have received from someone?
Testing, testing, testing, testing, never give up and if something is not working, then find out in which way it can work. Be happy and enjoy the process! And that you don’t need to be a perfectionist, just do it and fail and stand up again. It's also fun with failing.
What is your personal tip for migrant women who would like to start a business and are still hesitant?
Talk to migrant founders who are successful in their businesses and find out that it's not this crazy picture in your head about how you have to be as a founder, learn about what entrepreneurship is like. They will prove to you that it is possible. This will get you inspired and motivated. And look for a founder community, it could be a lab or accelerator in your region, but you need to get connected to people in a similar stage so that you can exchange and learn from each other. See how someone else is approaching similar questions and understand how to develop step by step.
Thank you so much Dalal!