Palestine, Cross-border
BusinessWomen-Led EnterprisesYouth in Business

A Common Product In the Middle East is Now Trending in the USA. Here’s How This Woman Did It

Her first encounter with the miswak was in the Middle East, when she was only 7 years old. And despite her young age, Hussna El Yacoubi had a business hunch: why not sell this natural toothbrush in the USA?

Miswak is a twig from the Peelu tree that has been used for 7,000 years as a tooth care product in the Middle East. Having been raised in Boulder, Colorado, the Arab-american entrepreneur visualized a massive potential in a community with such special passion for health and eco-friendliness. Fifteen years later, her idea would come to life.

While studying at the University of Colorado at Boulder, a venture challenge gave her the first opportunity to pitch the product. After a one-minute passionate pitch, Hussna defeated 40 other participants on a simple premise: this rugged earthy product brushes your teeth with natural anti-bacterial components. Why haven’t we used this before?

“People were just blown away and awarded me the most imaginative pitch,” Hussna tells BarakaBits, still ecstatic with excitement. “I went back home, and invested all the prize in a food saver to buy tons of miswak and distribute samples.” One Startup Weekend later, she pitched the miswak again and won a team of volunteers to make her idea come true. And in less than a year, her company True Brush had developed three product lines, sold 700 units, and was selected as a semi-finalist at ABC’s Shark Tank, the top American reality show for entrepreneurs.

With her product now trending in the USA, True Brush is supporting our crowdfunding campaign by providing miswaks to our campaign donors.

To help us provide more inspiring, unique stories from the Middle East, (and to receive an awesome all-natural toothbrush) donate to our crowdfunding campaign now!

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Valentina Primo

Journalist, globetrotter, and determined idealist. Since Valentina left her home country of Argentina, she has searched for ways to build bridges between cultures and foster dialogue. Her previous work in international organizations in Italy and Germany fed her passion for the world of development, while her 8-year journalistic experience in Argentina and Egypt increased her curiosity for everything that challenges the stereotype. She holds a BA in Journalism and a Masters in Peace Studies with a specialization in Human Rights.

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