Entrepreneurship for women is increasingly becoming an important means for income generation in the Middle East, especially at a time when female participation in the job market is significantly less than that of males. HCI has been working with women across this often conflict afflicted region for over two decades, inspiring them to be active and self-reliant while encouraging society to view women as equal citizens of society and holders of human rights.
HCI celebrates International Women’s Day around the world. Recently HCI concluded the latest phase of its project supporting micro businesses in the poverty-stricken suburbs of Cairo, Egypt targeting primarily female entrepreneurs. The resources and skills offered through this initiative enabled these women to develop their business opportunities and enhance their livelihoods. On the same day, HCI launched its latest economic empowerment project which supports women entrepreneurs in Palestine. The project introduces sustainable income generating projects, such as craftwork and backyard production, that will lift women out of poverty and reliance into economic independence and self-reliance.
In Sudan, disabled women have received coaching in micro-business management and developed small income generating initiatives such as home based food services and workshops funded by HCI using a combination of grants and loans. HCI also made it a point to work with Sudanese female orphans and provide them with the training and materials necessary to embark on their own business ventures. They were given the opportunity to test their ideas under real-life circumstances in which they designed and operated a small business service for one day.
In Afghanistan, HCI is educating girls at its school in Jalalabad and encouraging them to continue on to post secondary education. Support for women is also being provided through support for Falah Maternity Hospital in Kunduz where any sort of medical treatment is hard to find, let alone specialized treatment for women.
HCI’s Pakistan office oversees the many skill training programs geared toward women that teach them sewing, dress design, embroidery and other skills they can use to generate income for their families.
As a result of HCI’s intervention these women have a better chance of coping with their challenging economic reality. By empowering female entrepreneurs, HCI is aiding the community as a whole; the increased employment and income generated by vocational training, on-the-job support, and business development services give communities an economic boost, and serve as a positive example for others.