Meet a Fighter: Khadija Salomon, co-founder of Le Falaf

Meeting the love of your life at the age of 19. Leaving your home country to be with them. Not knowing the language of the new country that you arrive in...

✋🏼 This might sound like the beginning of a love story (and it is) but we’re here to tell you a story of entrepreneurship, the kind that you can only find in STATION F’s Fighters Program. It’s the story of Khadija Salomon, co-founder of Le Falaf 🥙

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Khadija arrived in France at the age of 20, not knowing a single word of French. She was a stay-at-home wife for four years and, at the age of 24, she decided to go back to school. She obtained her high school diploma, went on to get an Associate’s degree – always finishing first in class – and landed her dream job at Danone.

Through her volunteering activities at Danone, Khadija realized that she wanted to dedicate herself to social entrepreneurship, more specifically to creating equal economic opportunity. She started Le Falaf, a catering company that hires refugees as cooks, to help relieve the refugee crisis in Europe. Her business, being highly dependant on events, was of course severely hit by COVID. However, Khadija quickly pivoted away from the catering business model. She is now working on creating her own falafel brand, to sell directly to restaurants and supermarkets.

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Khadija is also launching a platform, Lajie.org, to connect refugees to jobs in the food sector. While working with associations to recruit refugees for Le Falaf, Khadija realized the inefficiencies in the talent matching system. On the employer side, these inefficiencies make hiring refugee talent difficult and can be discouraging for them to keep trying. On the talent side, refugees spend a lot of time going to interviews that lead to rejection because the positions were probably not a good fit in the first place. Khadija’s goal with Lajie is to partner up with associations to create a refugee database with clear filters for profiles so any employer looking to hire can easily find the right talent.

People say that out of adversity comes opportunity. In the case of Khadija, her setbacks have inspired her to create opportunity on top of opportunity.

This is the kind of profile that you will find in STATION F’s Fighters Program — you might start disadvantaged but that doesn’t mean that you can’t finish first.

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If you are a #Fighter in spirit, apply to the #FightersProgram. We are doubling the program in size this year and are here to help bring ambitious ideas to life.

Applications close this Sunday, Oct 18. Apply now.

By

Cindy Yang
[email protected]