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Shapol Majid

2021 Fellow

Founder and CEO, Elegant Lady - Khanem

Sulaimaniyah, Iraq

Shapol Majid is the Founder and CEO of Elegant Lady – Khanem, a lingerie styling store that is guided by a “by women for women” philosophy. Elegant Lady – Khanem aims to provide a secure, discrete, and personalized shopping experience so their customers can feel safe in a woman-friendly environment. In their shop, women can buy high-quality, well-fitting garments without feeling intimidated or spied upon. They are committed to employing women throughout the entire chain, from design and production to sales. In order to ensure that women’s empowerment is at the center of their line of products, Elegant Lady – Khanem conducts research to ensure that their suppliers support and share their values. Elegant Lady – Khanem is run by an all-female staff and makes sure that all staff members are fairly paid and can be economically independent. Beyond supporting their staff and customers, Elegant Lady – Khanem has plans to expand and develop a clothing factory in Sulaymaniyah to further support their immediate community. These plans have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the age of 16, Shapol fled to the Netherlands as a refugee from Iraq. She felt grateful to be in a country and a system that protected her as a refugee, but always felt a strong connection to her home city of Salymania. Shapol became acutely aware of the absence of women in politics, and the obstacles that women in Iraqi society face. This led her to create Elegant Lady – Khanem, a company centered on providing women with a safe space they can feel empowered and comfortable. Shapol holds a Bachelors in Middle Eastern Studies from Utrecht University in the Netherlands and a Masters in International Law from the University of East London. In 2019, Shapol founded the Women’s Economic Empowerment Organization to break down gender gaps and contribute to emancipation and empowerment for women in the Middle East. Shapol has experience and expertise in starting new businesses, community development, market research, and human resources management.

What Shapol hopes to gain from the VV GROW Fellowship:

Shapol hopes to connect and exchange ideas with other women entrepreneurs to learn from their various experiences. She also hopes to expand her network with other women around the world who are involved in textile production in order to expand her market reach.

What Shapol can offer other fellows:

Shapol can offer her skills and knowledge in importing, exporting, and European Union policy on doing business in the Middle East.

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