10 Startups in the Arab World that Parents Will Love

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This week we highlight 10 startups that parents (and their children) will love. From education to clothing, social communities to gadgets, these startups offer new tools and benefits to parents as they raise their children and maintain a balanced lifestyle.

Check out the startups below and let us know if you take advantage of their or any other parenting startup offers. The startups are listed alphabetically.

1) Alhodhud

Founded in 2011 by Mohamed and Shima Al Beshtawi, Alhodhud develops creative and educational Arabic content for children, with programs designed for schools and training centers. Based in Jordan, the startup has rolled out several interactive games that teach children how to read in Arabic, using sounds, animals, coloring, and matching games to make Arabic letters more memorable for children.

2) littleBits

Engineer Ayah Bdeir created littleBits, a kit of pre-assembled circuits that snap together with tiny magnets. Each bit has a simple function- some blink, make sounds, have buttons or motors, and children can build their own mini circuit boards by snapping pieces together in LEGO-like fashion. Started in New York in 2011, the startup has already received international acclaim and continues to innovate new bits to include in an open library.

3) The Little Engineer

Rana El Chemaitelly, a mechanical engineer and university instructor at the American University of Beirut, drew on her own experience to come up with a solution for her son’s obsession with electronic gaming. The Little Engineer, started in 2009, is an after-school “edutainment” center which introduces kids ages 4-16 to pre-engineering courses such as robotics, physics, electricity, electronics, and renewable energy. The program, which has spread to six other countries, offers children a space to have fun while building skills that are not necessarily addressed in the classroom.

4) Little Thinking Minds

Co-founded in 2004 by two Jordanian mothers, Rama Kayyali Jardaneh and Lamia Tabbaa, Little Thinking Minds produces educational Arabic content for children under age 7 in the form of videos, audio CDs, and flashcards. Their products aim to build interest in the Arabic language and culture for Arab children living around the world. Little Thinking Minds has reached audiences across the Middle East, North Africa, and the world with a notable presence in countries including Australia and Japan.

5) Lola et Moi

Lola et Moi, co-founded by Rania Tohme to provide mid- to high-end fashion for children, has a unique flavor and style reminiscent of a playful and colorful children’s fantasy. The Lebanese startup has expanded throughout the Middle East, Asia, and other international markets, and several notable celebrities in the U.S. are fans of its clothing. The company continually designs and introduces new seasonal collections to keep their brand fresh and imaginative.

6) Mintaad

Established with the mantra “educate without owning,” Mintaad allows parents to rent books for their children and return them after a set amount of time. The online lending library encourages childhood literacy by making childhood and young adult books easily available at a low cost. Started in Jordan in 2012 by Rana Aby Ragheb and Ruba Asfour, Mintaad can deliver books in as little as 24 hours and offers several different subscription plans to borrow a different number of books per month. If your child loves one of the books you rent, there is even an option to purchase it at a discounted rate.

7) Mumzworld

Launched in 2011, Mumzworld is a Dubai-based e-commerce platform selling all things “Mum.” The startup was founded by a group of caring parents including Mona Ataya who saw a need for easy access to products for new mothers online. Initially targeting the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Mumzworld plans to expand across the Gulf and throughout the Arab World. With over 300 brands and 60,000 products, their comprehensive platform brings together manufacturers, retailers and distributors from around the world to  offer products from car seats to diapers and interactive books to nursery furniture.

8) Promomz*

Founded in the UAE in 2011, Promomz* is an online and mobile community where moms can “collaborate on work, play, and life.” By matching moms with work opportunities, sharing suggestions for family entertainment, and exchanging resources with moms on topics from medicine to fashion, Promomz* hopes to provide moms with a strong work-life balance. The platform offers users a list of open full- and part-time positions, recipes, reviews, travel tips, and features of other moms. Their mobile app, available on iOS, was recently launched to provide moms with new organizational tools and a place to save and post new offerings featured on the Promomz* platform.

9) Sacha Books

Born from parents who just wanted interactive Arabic content for their young baby, Sacha Books offers a library of digital stories for children in Arabic on iOS. Founders Samer and Chantal Youssef and Shady El Yaski started Sacha Books in Egypt in 2011 with their own personal funding, but they are currently looking to expand their platform. The iOS app library is free to download and each story is available for in-app purchase. With the interactive play features, kids can move items on the page, flip pages, and solve puzzles at the end of each story, offering a colorful opportunity for parents to encourage their kids to learn on a smartphone.

10) SuperMama

Founded by Yasmine El-Mehairy and Zeinab Samir in 2011, SuperMama offers parenting tips on topics including pregnancy, cooking, fitness and health, and how to balance a household and a successful career. The first parenting community in the Arab world, this Egyptian startup is an information hub “for moms, by moms.” They even offer a section for SuperPapas. SuperMama is becoming extremely popular in Egypt, working hard to keep up with all of the requests for topics to cover and expand the social community throughout the region.

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