WEL participants prepare for a training
"My only ambition in life is to be self-confident. I am working hard on my skills, particularly to enhance both my communication and marketing abilities. I used to decorate for people from different villages on different occasions and this experience encouraged me to start thinking of having green houses to plant different kinds of flowers."
- Ms. Halimeh Al Chaar, WEL Empower 20 participant
This year instead of a traditional Valentine's Day, GlobalGiving embraces the celebration of Global Generosity Day! That means, "in addition to (or instead of?) the heart-shaped box of chocolates and pricey romantic dinner, give the gift of a not-so-random act of kindness!" Make your Valentine a Lebanese woman in need by donating to TYO's Women Entrepreneurs in Lebanon project! These lovely ladies don't need chocolates or plush teddy bears, but they do need your support as they strive to improve their communities with a leadership business endeavor.
Therefore, this month, TYO would like to highlight some of the most promising women entrepreneurs in our Women Entrepreneurs in Lebanon project. Thanks to your fantastic support these women will prepare to advance into Phase 3 of the training program! Phase 3 includes additional trainings in Business English, IT, and an incubation period to cultivate smart, fiscally-sound financial strategies. Therefore, without further adieu, we are proud to introduce TYO's WEL TOP TEN ENTREPRENEURS...
- Ms. Asma Ayoumi: Asma's unique re-invigoration of traditional olive recipes has locals exclaiming: "OMG- Olives Made Great!" With her tasty creations mixing special blends and herbs, we are sure with a snazzy business plan, her outstanding olives will be a huge hit in the local market in coming months!
- Ms. Sahar Abou Doleh: As the saying goes- “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar,” and with Sahar’s honey, we’re sure she’ll be luring in flies, furry creatures, and all sorts of the two-legged variety as she expands her special Cedar Honey business throughout Lebanon and into the global marketplace. Success never tasted so sweet!
- Ms. Maysa Kassem: WEL is all about rewarding visionaries who assess a critical need in their communities and use their talents and skills to fulfill that need. Maysa certainly fits the mold, and after identifying her community’s need for faxing, photocopying, and printing services and materials, with training from WEL, she will be opening her very own stationary shop. Now that is a woman making a difference!
- Ms. Aziza Abdel Rahim: Many of the women WEL works with are first-time entrepreneurs intrepid enough to take risks to step into the uncertain entrepreneurial world. Aziza once ran her own successful dairy business, run into the ground during the war in 2007. Now she is back and more eager than ever to roll up her sleeves and set an example for fledging women entrepreneurs in WEL and all over Lebanon. Way to make moooooooves, Aziza!
- Ms. Rima al Rachid: The women entrepreneurs of WEL have proved time and again that a woman’s place is not only in the kitchen. Rima extends that notion with her tiling business, demonstrating a woman’s influence all over the house, office, and places of community gathering. She now hopes to scale up her Tile Manufacturing Company and increase her client base throughout the community.
- Ms. Soumaya Jokmak: Anyone with a sweet tooth has a soft spot for Soumaya’s delectable delicacies— dried fruit combined with chocolate and in traditional Maamoul! We like to think of her products as cavities for a cause—support of a savvy aspiring businesswoman and tasty treats to get you through the day (and night)!
- Ms. Layali Chaaban: WEL gives three thumbs up to innovative minds able to adapt to the changing demands of the marketplace. Realizing that while consumers admired her faux flower designs and arrangements, a niche existed for aromatic fresh flower bouquets, Layali created a business plan to respond. She now intends to scale up her existing business to incorporate the evolving demand!
- Ms. Salma Ajaj: A seasoned entrepreneurial pro, Salma has 35 years of business experience with her traditional Lebanese handicrafts, crochet, and tricot. With a robust employee base, she prepares to serve a greater sector of her local community with the knowledge and practice she gains from participating in the WEL program.
- Ms. Lamia Sawan: Lamia has been preserving more than herbs and legumes by leading women in her local community for the past several years. By maintaining traditional Lebanese mouneh practices, she crystallizes the history of Lebanese cuisine and the pride of a community with each of the women she works with. Looking back to look forward. Great job, Lamia!
- Ms. Howayda Sharaf al Dine: But what about those lacking Lamia’s help in the kitchen? Never fear, Howayda is here with her new catering business! Howayda recognized the need for traditional Lebanese cuisine in the homes of those unable to prepare it themselves and has brainstormed a creative solution to keep full bellies and happy hearts.
"Since I was young, I have enjoyed preparing food. I have bought [cook]books in Arabic and French, about old and new recipes. In addition, my deep knowledge in hygiene and nutrition issues as well as participating in several trainings on food processing were the key factors in doing a catering project with special packaging in order to distribute the product to supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, hospitals and related institutions."
- Ms. Howayda Sharaf al Dine, WEL Top 10 participant
These ten women are just a sample of the ambitious and exciting projects being supported by the Women Entrepreneurs in Lebanon project. As you can see, these women are eager for success and relish every moment they are able to spend improving their skills and widening the path to greater economic security and community development with WEL. Thank you for your support! We look forward to charting their progress and cheering them on as they complete their training and sincerely hope you will continue to show your support at this crucial juncture on their paths to success!
For more details on the happenings in the TYO WEL project, be sure to take a peek at the TYO Blog where we chronicle the women’s journeys!
WEL participants in business training session
TYO staff meets with WEL participants
WEL participants at conference
TYO Director Andres Smith presents WEL award
WEL women with Cherie Blair of Cherie Blair Fdn.
WEL participants celebrate successful training