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Elevate Social Businesses, KAFD partner to empower women

By JT - Jun 11,2017 - Last updated at Jun 11,2017

‘Elevate Jordan’ will start with a six-month pilot project in Mafraq, where it will train 100 women on entrepreneurship skills and foster a women’s business network (Photo courtesy of KAFD)

AMMAN — Elevate Social Businesses (“Elevate”), in partnership with the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD), has announced its support for a new initiative “Elevate Jordan”, which will provide women in Jordan with training on entrepreneurship skills, supply essential products for sale in low-income Jordanian communities and create a women’s network. 

“Elevate Jordan” will start with a six-month pilot project, during which it will work with 100 women in Mafraq, 80km northeast of Amman, which has been “greatly impacted” by a large refugee influx, providing them with a new livelihood opportunity to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families, a KAFD statement said. 

Elevate and KAFD recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding reflecting their commitment to this new project.

“Elevate Jordan” is an opportunity for non-profit organisations, the government, and the private sector to engage and collaborate on women’s empowerment, according to the statement. 

Working closely with the Jordan River Foundation in its outreach to women, the project is looking to partner with local and international manufacturers and distributors of food and consumer products, the statement added. 

Frank Giustra, president and founder of the Radcliffe Foundation and chairman of Elevate, said: “I am delighted that we can support Jordanian women and further our commitment to create livelihood opportunities for both Jordanian women and refugees through an inclusive distribution social business model. We are tapping into the entrepreneurial potential of women and helping communities access products at affordable prices.”

Elevate builds and supports businesses in developing countries that empower women, through providing essential products for them to sell in low-income communities. It aims to improve the quality of life for women, their families and their communities in a sustainable, “market-driven” way, according to the statement.

For his part, Emad N. Fakhouri, chairman of the board of trustees at KAFD, stressed the importance of this private-public sector partnership in Jordan to increase job opportunities among targeted local communities. 

The main focus of such initiatives is to empower local women, by providing them with the necessary financial and training resources required to improve their lives and create a positive outcome for their families, in addition to reinforcing their contribution within the sustainable developmental efforts in the local community, the statement continued.

KAFD, a non-governmental organisation established in 2001 by His Majesty King Abdullah, aims to enhance productivity through implementing development projects that help alleviate poverty and unemployment in partnership with the private and the public sectors, the statement said. 

KAFD’s activities are focused on five areas: entrepreneurship, employability development, communication and community awareness, capacity building and the All Jordan Youth Commission, the statement said.

Only 19 per cent of all women residing in Jordan are currently employed, and a majority of those women (57 per cent) would work if they had the opportunity. A recent study released by UN Women suggests that external obstacles to the labour market are the biggest hurdle to women’s economic empowerment rather than individual attitudes.

 

More than just a livelihood opportunity, “Elevate Jordan” is a means to bring strength and dignity back to unemployed Jordanian women as well as to refugee women, the statement said adding thatit will empower women to provide for their families and to draw on the strength that comes from being part of a women’s network.  

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