Thanks to your contribution, TYO-Lebanon's women entrepreneurs have participated in a variety of Expos around Lebanon. TYO beneficiaries, each in a branded stand, were afforded the opportunity to network and sell their goods/services to large audiences where they might not have otherwise had the chance to benefit. Their participation also allowed the women a real world chance to put their TYO business training into hands-on practice, further increasing the impact and sustainability.
Two of the main expos included:
Made in Lebanon: Held at Beirut's main center for expos and fairs, BIEL, in March 2013, this expo housed a variety of different fashions, accessories, decorations, and handicrafts. The perfect venue for our women entrepreneurs and their goods!
Chamber of Commerce and Industry/Agriculture: Held at the North Lebanon, Business Incubation Association of Tripoli, January 2013, this was a 3- day exhibition that focused on local agriculture based products, where many of our beneficiaries were able to sell goods to an average profit of 300USD/day.
Again, TYO-Lebanon thanks you for your support on behalf of our women entrepreneurs!
Happy New Year from the TYO teams in DC and Lebanon!
Despite the challenges facing Lebanon in conjunction with the conflict in Syria, our female business leaders remain a hard-working dedicated group, determined to overcome the obstacles that may stand in the way of their success. The women have most recently completed the Corporate Identities/Branding of their businesses, and are ready to go to print! This means that the women will now be equipped with products that can be sold anywhere in Lebanon, or abroad!
Here is an inside look at 3 of our top 10 women’s businesses and products:
Ms. Sahar Abo Doleh has been working hard on establishing her honey as a premium product, to be sold all across Lebanon. She worked with our volunteer graphic design team to develop her concept: “Pure Mountain Honey,” and the WEL team has secured market opportunities for her product, once she is ready.
Ms. Hwayda Charaf Eddine has a real artistry with her accessories and the name of her business says it all: “Hwayda’s Accessories.” Her branding is as lovely and as feminine as her accessories!
Finally, Ms. Asma Amyouni has managed to create a secret special blend of herbs in her preserved olives that have created a niche for her product. Her “Wadina Herby Olives” will take the market by storm!
In addition to their branding, 6 of our women recently participated in an Exposition, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Tripoli (CCIAT), which provided them with additional networking opportunities, as well as the chance to sell their products.
Congratulations to all the WEL women in this big step towards creating a brand for their products, which will serve to help them in both accessing markets, and networks for sale!
With the start of the new year, we look forward to continue to network with our business women in Northern Lebanon and are thrilled to report that TYO Lebanon will launch a new round of traning, coaching, and incubation for women in the Bekaa Valley! Please stay tuned to our blog and Facebook page for updates on the program's pogress.
We sincerely thank you for your continued support and wish you a happy and healthy 2013!
TYO and TYO Lebanon are honored to participate in the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s new Enterprise Development Programme Launch in November of this year! As our WEL program has shown so much progress, WEL beneficiary Ms. Houwayda Charaf el Dine was also invited to give a 5-minute presentation on her experiences with the WEL project. Mrs. Cherie Blair will also be speaking at the event.
We are so proud of Houwayda and wanted to share her story with you, again. See below our past interview with Ms. Houwayda Charaf El Dine!
What is your personal background?
My name is Houwayda Charaf El Dine and I live with my family in a small village called Berkayel in Akkar. I have a B.A in French Literature and I work as a teacher in one of the schools in Akkar.
What is your business idea?
Before talking about my dream I need to clarify some of the issues. There is an urgent need in the rural areas in Akkar for development in different sectors, and this need is directly related to the absence of the government due to many pressures and other concerned national issues. We see that a lot of women in these areas did not complete their education and they stay at home, with no work.
Thus, doing projects in the region will reduce many of the problems faced by these villages and will create jobs for both women and men. Consequently,
Why should you continue to invest in women?
Because of their sheer numbers, empowering female entrepreneurs represents a huge boost to local economies. Furthermore, women are statistically more likely to re-invest more of their incomes-almost 90%! This means that by investing in women entrepreneurs, you are not only improving the economy but doing so in a way that has serious impact on families and communities. Investing in women is also beneficial from a social development standpoint- our programs help those who are doubly marginalized because of their gender and social status to become active, empowered community members.
TYO Lebanon is in the middle of a new session more committed than ever to helping the women of Lebanon overcome the challenges they face to take control of their lives. The Women Entrepreneurs in Lebanon (WEL) program is back on track, and our ladies are now focusing on the incubation, corporate branding, and access to finance aspects of their business plans.
TYO is always striving to meet the needs of the women in our WEL program, so after they expressed the desire for stronger IT skills to be able to compete in the business world, we set about helping them attain those skills. With the help of Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) and your support, the WEL women have just completed a six week intensive computer course. The emphasis of the course was basic computer tasks as well as more targeted application, such as keeping business records. These lucky ladies also had some side benefits to their training, including personal awareness, a more honed sense of entrepreneurship, and marketable 21st century work skills. They now have the skills they need to compete in the workforce, giving their families and communities a boost in the process. Our women already have the intelligence, skills, and motivation to do amazing things; they simply lack the resources. By continuing your support, you help us to provide them with these essential resources and give these enterprising women the opportunity they need to change their lives.
We couldn’t do it without you!
Want to make a mother smile this spring? Make a mother's day on Mother's Day with your $50 contribution towards business training workshops for women entrepreneurs in Lebanon. With your generous donation, you will receive a note card set of five cards featuring gorgeous watercolor scenes from historic Jerusalem!
This has certainly been an exciting spring for the women of TYO’s WEL program! Over the past few weeks, a number of noteworthy visits have taken place, motivating our budding entrepreneurs and giving them their much-deserved moment in the limelight.
“You are proving that glass ceilings are breakable…Lebanon would be more prosperous and stable with more women in the boardrooms and cabinet rooms… I believe you will be the people to prove it.”
– H.E. British Ambassador to Lebanon Tom Fletcher
FEBRUARY 2012:Cherie Blair Foundation for Women
Closing out the month of love, WEL program stakeholders from the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women showed the WEL participants some love with a visit to WEL’s Beirut offices at the end of February. CBFW Business Support Programme Coordinator Priya Patel and Business Support Programme Manager Lucy Hayter had the chance to meet with program participants Ms. Rima al Rachid, Ms. Soumaya Jokmak and Ms. Houwayda Sharaf el Dine. (If you remember, Ms. Rachid is hard at work laying the groundwork for her Tiling Manufacturing Company; Ms. Jokmak is still wowing with her cavities for a cause (delectable traditional desserts!); and Ms. Sharaf al Dine is feeding hungry Lebanese families with her mouth-watering catering business.) A special visit by His Excellency Mexican Ambassador Jorge Alvarez, an avid WEL supporter, rounded off the three-day tour fantastically!
MARCH 2012: H.E. Ambassador Tom Fletcher
Wrapping up March on the heels of International Women’s Day, WEL participants received a special treat as the honored guests of His Excellency British Ambassador Tom Fletcher at his home in Beirut. Ambassador Fletcher played host to a select group of accomplished women in business, education, media, sports, and arts in Lebanon, including prominent journalist and EU Ambassador May Chidiac, actress, comedian, and drama therapist Zeina Dakache, and Olympic sports star Andria Paouli; WEL participants were overjoyed to have been selected amongst this celebrated group of high-achievers.
APRIL 2012: Columbia University's Pangea Advisors
Earlier this month, Mallika Daswani, Eric Kuo, and Eric Amaso, representatives of the Pangea Advisors group from Columbia University’s Business School spent time on the ground in Lebanon investigating strategies to enhance online platforms for digital marketing and awareness-building. The Pangea team encountered the warmth of Lebanese hospitality, the savory palatability of Lebanese cuisine courtesy of WEL entrepreneurs, and the frustrations of the Lebanese financial system as they learned about measures blocking interest rates in Lebanon. An insightful, impactful, and inspiring visit for all!
“Entrepreneurs in the region are met with uncommon challenges, but these challenges are clearly compounded for aspiring women entrepreneurs. TYO has developed creative solutions in order to overcome these hurdles, which can have a significant impact not only for women entrepreneurs but for the entire region as a whole.”
– Eric Amaso, Columbia Business School, MBA Candidate, Class of 2013
With a parade of new faces taking note of the ambitious women of WEL, we hope that you too might take note of the incredible work these women are doing to reverse the “brain drain” of successful entrepreneurship in Lebanon. This year, you can make a mother’s day on Mother’s Day by supporting TYO and the women of WEL. Donations of $50 or above receive a note card set of five cards featuring gorgeous watercolor scenes from historic Jerusalem!
Your continued support is tremendously appreciated. Stay tuned to more updates on TYO's blog!
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