Anera's program supports West Bank women entrepreneurs
“I started off selling everything from perfumes and creams to school stationery,” she says. “But the economy declined and I had to close.” That was five years ago.
Thanks to Anera’s Women Can program, generously funded by Islamic Relief USA, Tahreer has relaunched her business, armed with the marketing training and startup capital she needs to make it a success. She joined the Anera project in May. “Now I sell perfumes and housewares.”
Tahreer says her store is well located. “I think my items catch the eye of customers in the area.”
The Women Can program is tailor-made for vulnerable people like Tahreer. Women-headed households account for 12 percent of West Bank families. Anera’s program helps them with training programs, supplies and support to get their businesses up and running.
One challenge for Tahreer has been attracting customers. “Many people don't know I have reopened so I am trying to work on advertising through Facebook. But I need to figure out other ways to promote the business too,” she adds.
Tahreer gets her family to help. When her father passed away, she and her brother started sharing the space. She opens the shop and works there from ten in the morning until three in the afternoon, and then she lets her son take over the evening shift.
“And I don’t have to pay for rent because it’s right under my residence in the same building.”
Tahreer makes trips to downtown Ramallah once a month to restock her store. She says the business generates good income but there are ups and downs. She has to be careful with her earnings to make sure she has enough to pay her bills. She has earned as much as 190 shekels ($60) in a day, but that’s not constant. “I am satisfied with 90 shekels ($28) or even 50 shekels ($15) a day to pay the bills,” she says.
With the extra earned money, Tahreer can provide gifts for her children. “I am now able to buy some things I couldn’t afford before for my youngest daughter. And that makes me happy.”
“I am now able to buy some things I couldn’t afford before for my youngest daughter. And that makes me happy.”
The views expressed herein are those of Anera and shall not, in any way whatsoever, be construed to reflect the official opinion of IRUSA, its Islamic Relief affiliates, or its donors.