Support 20 Female Entrepreneurs

by Tomorrow's Youth Organization
Business owner Huwaida
Business owner Huwaida's products: Meera's soaps

In August, we introduced you to female entrepreneurs entering their incubation phase with TYO in Palestine. Thanks to your continued support, we're please to share with you an update about our very exciting product launch and networking event held in Ramallah in October. In preparation for their first official product launch, entrepreneurs worked to perfect their English to effectively pitch their business and explain how their products were made. They also received support in best practices in branding, and how to further improve their product packaging.

As a part of the product launch in Ramallah, each businesswoman was given a booth to display her products, services, samples and marketing materials. Guests at the event were able to rate the businesses on a score card based on the following criteria:

  • Business presentation and appeal
  • Logo and brand identification 
  • Packaging and marketing materials
  • Pricing
  • Quality
  • Creativity
  • Memorability 
  • Taste

Take a look at the photos from the event. TYO-Nablus is so proud of the strides these budding entrepreneurs have made!

Entrepreneur Ghada offers samples of her mushrooms
Entrepreneur Ghada offers samples of her mushrooms
Somood's business, Shal Embroidery, was a hit!
Trainer Ahmad Abu Baker scores each business
Trainer Ahmad Abu Baker scores each business
Nahawand explains Play with Numbers to a crowd
Nahawand explains Play with Numbers to a crowd
Officers from the US Consulate & Magic Design mugs
Officers from the US Consulate & Magic Design mugs
Entrepreneurs attend a training at TYO
Entrepreneurs attend a training at TYO

Earlier this year you were introduced to the hard-working entrepreneurs in Lebanon that have benefited from your generous support; Now it’s time to meet the 12 burgeoning entrepreneurs in Palestine! Along with the Small Enterprise Center in Ramallah, TYO Nablus has been working with entrepreneurs from the North to help expand their business networks, overcome misconceptions about access to finance, and scale up their businesses while developing a strong brand and identity. Read on to learn more about each one of these inspiring women and their business ventures!

Nahawand, Play With Numbers

With a degree in mathematics and a career in a chemistry lab, Nahawand is no stranger to numbers. For years, Nahawand offered tutoring help to the children in her family and community who struggled with math. Nahawand noticed that the materials provided by public schools in Palestine promote rote memorization rather than critical thinking, leaving students discouraged.

Nahawand’s company, Play With Numbers, was founded three years ago in Nablus, and provides one-on-one tutoring services in homes, as well as at a local education center, using a combination of mental math techniques and critical thinking perspectives to make math fun, engaging, and simpler for children.

Tahreer, Baladna Jams

Baladna Jams provides quality jams and jellies from Palestine’s fig plants. Made in her home, Tahreer’s hope is that she can bring a Palestinian product into the market, which is crowded with Turkish and Lebanese imports, despite Palestine’s rich agricultural resources.

Da’ad, DHS Textiles

Ten years ago, Da’ad was inspired to bring international styles to Palestine, and reach an untapped market by blending global trends with traditional Arabic attire. DHS Textiles- Da’ad’s private label- is based in Tulkarem, Palestine and currently operates non-formally out of Da’ad’s home. The company produces high-end formal and bridal ware for adolescent and adult women using quality fabrics, such as taffeta, silk, chiffon, and lace.

Howaida, Mira’s Soap

Howaida spent the majority of her career in soap factories in and around Nablus, working in production and manufacturing. In 2011 she decided to take the skills she had acquired and start crafting her own products, using locally-sourced ingredients such as camel’s milk, coconut oil, and olive oil, and launched Mira’s Soap.

Rola, Paradise Vegetables

Paradise Vegetables, Rola’s non-formal enterprise packages and home delivers fresh, organic vegetables directly to homes in Nablus, allowing families or restaurants to easily purchase and receive fresh, pesticide-free produce. While her products change seasonally, Rola’s specialties include arugula, beans, and various herbs.

Donia, Soft Dream

Soft Dream is the revitalization of a home goods enterprise Donia operated prior to the Second Intifada, when she was forced out of business for economic reasons. Today, Donia designs and sells quality duvet covers, blankets, bedding, and other home décor. Donia is passionate about creating high-quality local products that offer alternatives to the poorly-made, low-grade fabric bedding that is imported from China and regularly sold in the region.

Maisa, Tubasee Soaps

Based in the northern Palestinian city of Tubas, Maisa runs a small shop where she produces and sells handmade soaps, which are comprised of local ingredients, such as camel’s milk, chamomile, and extra virgin olive oil. Producing 300 bars of soap per month, Maisa currently employs four women part-time in her small factory, and is registered with relevant local authorities to ensure the quality of her soap, and allow her to sell in other shops throughout the country.

Atika, Cooking Club

Cooking Club is a catering business- run out of Atika’s home- that provides fresh, quality meals for meetings and special events. Atika currently serves a small number of clients per month, which primarily include friends and individuals in her social network. However, as part of the FWEME project, Atika hopes to gain the marketing and advertising skills needed to increase her customer base, and grow as a premier catering service in Nablus.

Zeina, Pal Healthy Store

Zeina knows that globally, finding quality medical care- particularly specialists- is not always an easy process. Through her research as a computer engineer student, Zeina learned of various web-based applications being utilized in other parts of the world that allowed users to search for medical specialists available in their area in real time, and read reviews and ratings from past patients. As a product like this did not exist in Palestine, the idea for Pal Healthy Store was born. Pal Healthy Store is an online application currently under development that catalogs medical experts in Nablus as well as surrounding villages, and allows users to directly search for a specialist by field and location.

Asma, Magic Design

Asma has long been interested in creating- whether it was working on formulas in the science lab during her time as an engineering student or composing designs on Photoshop. She has always enjoyed tasks requiring an acute attention to detail. It’s what led Asma to create the idea for Magic Design. Magic Design seeks to provide logo design, as well as thermal printing on t-shirts, cups, mugs, and similar collateral to businesses in Palestine.

Somood, Revival of Palestinian Heritage

For years Somood enjoyed embroidery as a hobby. Over time, she began to sell her handicrafts at local bazaars, school fairs, and small shops. This earned Somood a reputation within her village as a skilled craftswoman known for creating traditional gowns, scarves, jewelry, and purses. The ongoing success Somood found at local markets inspired her to turn her hobby into a full-time business and share her passion for traditional Palestinian handicrafts.

Ghada: Organic, Anabta Mushrooms

Anabta Mushrooms produces organic mushrooms and mushroom-based products that are grown through innovative, hydroponic techniques. Ghada began growing and selling mushrooms in 2008 and has been operating the business out of her home ever since. On account of her participation in the FWEME project, Ghada has been able to create and refine her business plan, join an agriculture cooperative in Palestine’s North, and officially register her business with the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture.

Entrepreneur, Ghada, shows off her mushrooms
Entrepreneur, Ghada, shows off her mushrooms


Entrepreneur Helene with TYO
Entrepreneur Helene with TYO's Nadine

Thanks to your contribution, TYO-Lebanon (TYO-L) has spent the last few months hard at work helping entrepreneurs in the Bekaa take their businesses to the next level! TYO-L is now working with 5 selected entrepreneurs on expanding their business networks, accessing finance to scale up their businesses and fine tuning their branding and corporate identities. We are happy to share brief profiles on these five women and their businesses:

  • Roula:Atmosphere.... Art & Design School & Gallery… Put Art in your Sphere!”

Roula is a practiced artist and currently has a small studio space and gallery that she would like to expand into an Art and Design School to service artists locally in the Bekaa. Through Atmosphere, Roula wants also to create a space for talented people to connect with potential art lovers companies and individuals, affording young artists a chance to display and sell their work!

  • Rola:Go Green Go – Live the ultimate warm eco experience!”

Rola will expand her businessby launching an environmentally friendly log, which will replace the traditional wood log by transforming houses into warm and happy homes using practical, effective eco friendly heating.

  • Helene: Helene d’Av.... l’espace beaute complet! Beauty... from the inside out!”

Helene is a charming, fresh, classy committed lady with positive energy shining from the inside out. Helene is a beauty specialist well known in the region for her quality work, her honesty and her distinguished simple personal approach to beauty. Helene is ready now to expand her existing beauty center into a more holistic women’s wellness center: the only one of it’s kind in the Bekaa!

  • Tilda:TILES & CO.... when a tile says it all!”

Tildais a serious, passionate, talented, dedicated & committed entrepreneur. Despite somewhat difficult family circumstances, she created a very small cement tile fabric and that she could manage and make profitable for herself     and her two children. She is now ready to take her business to the next level!

  • Rima: “RIYA ... Rima Sawaya’s spirit in landscaping & interior!”

Rimais a skilled and talented young lady, passionate about embellishing all living areas –starting by the public spaces in Zahle. She is specializing in interior design and landscaping and her projects address all the same issue: embellishing ecologically starting from the concept up! 

Again, we thank you on behalf of the hardworking Lebanese women entrepreneurs in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon!

Entrepreneur Rima with TYO
Entrepreneur Rima with TYO's Nadine
Entrepreneur Roula with TYO
Entrepreneur Roula with TYO's Nadine.
Entrepreneurs Roula with TYO
Entrepreneurs Roula with TYO's Nadine.
Entrepreneur Tilda and TYO
Entrepreneur Tilda and TYO's Nadine
Roula and fellow entrepreneurs.
Roula and fellow entrepreneurs.

A great deal in part due to your contribution, TYO-Lebanon has been able to assist women entrepreneurs in the Bekaa area of Lebanon to enhance their business skills and knowledge through training programs, one-on-one coaching and incubation. We are happy to share with you the feedback from an interview with one of our one-on-one coaching beneficiaries, Roula. Roula's business is based in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley and is called "Go Green Go". Her concept involves the creation and use of environmentally friendly logs, to replace traditional wood logs as a form of cost-effective and eco-friendly heating. 

1. How have you and your business benefitted from the support of TYO?

"My benefit from the project has been great. It has made me more aware of the potential success of my business and how best to position and market myself locally as a start and gain a more strategic vision for growth outside of Lebanon. The brainstorming sessions and business preparation course have been very helpful in increasing my knowledge of accounting management, the importance of human resources, how to source my materials most effectively and most importantly, the marketing of my business!"

2. How has working with TYO helped you to overcome the challenges that you face in growing your business?

"One of the main challenges that I have faced has been to source my materials. TYO helped me to identify local recyclable materials that I can use for the creation of my environmentally friendly logs, by the use of materials discarded by local craftsmen. TYO has also helped to connect me to potential partners who have similar experience in the creation of environmentally friendly products."

Roula is one of many women entrepreneurs benefiting from the TYO training and coaching programs in Lebanon and again, thanks for your support!

Roula receives business training support.
Roula receives business training support.
Entrepreneurs smile during psychosocial training
Entrepreneurs smile during psychosocial training

 For over three years, TYO has been active in the field of female entrepreneurship in- but thanks to friends like you, the past three months have been especially abuzz with women’s economic empowerment. From intensive business skills trainings with our most recent cohort of entrepreneurs to both TYO- Lebanon and TYO- Palestine partnering in Global Entrepreneurship Week, your support has enabled TYO to significantly empower potential businesswomen this season.

Here’s a few highlights from the last three months:

  • Individual Coaching: In August, we held a holistic seven-day training for 36 female entrepreneurs from the northern region of Palestine, which equipped women with necessary skills required to launch their startup businesses, and featured psychosocial workshops to build women’s confidence and communication abilities. After this initial training, 22 women were selected to move forward for individual coaching, where they’ve met with business development experts for one-on-one sessions to refine their business plans and learn about access to finance. 
  • Global Entrepreneurship Week: Both TYO-Lebanon and TYO-Palestine particpated in Global Entrepreneurship Week, which is an international celebration of the innovators and creators that launch startups that drive economic growth, bring ideas to life, and expand human welfare. TYO-Lebanon representatives attended events around Lebanon, including: The Cisco Entrepreneur Institute's 'Starting a Business in Lebanon'. This open session focused on online communication and e-commerce as part of its ongoing "Starting a Business" workshop series. This November marked Palestine’s first year of participation in Global Entrepreneurship Week,  TYO-Palestine participated by offering a unique, holistic psychosocial training for 22 female entrepreneurs- providing women with a platform to discuss major challenges to their personal and professional growth, such as family resistance or fear of failure.
  • Trainings and Travels: Since September, we’ve also brought a host of speakers and trainers to visit our entrepreneurs here at TYO- including Ms. Samira Cook, a leading small business development expert from the United States, as well as representatives from Bank of Palestine to discuss financial management and opening a bank account for the first time. Several TYO entrepreneurs have also traveled outside Palestine- to the United States, Sweden, and Qatar-in the last few months, taking part in high-level trainings and mentoring programs with the U.S. Department of State, Vital Voices, and She Entrepreneurs

Stay tuned in the coming months to see how your support will continue to help entrepreneurs both start- and sustain- their businesses!

Ms. Samira Cook discusses becoming a businesswoman
Ms. Samira Cook discusses becoming a businesswoman

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Organization Information

Tomorrow's Youth Organization

Location: McLean, VA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Tala Said
McLean, VA United States

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