Amman, Jordan (4thAugust 2013) – 24 families in Jordan’s poverty areas are gaining momentum towards financial sustainability and poverty alleviation by taking the first steps towards the creation of their new own businesses, with support from the Noor Al Hussein Foundation’s Community Development Program (NHF-CDP).
The Poverty Pockets Empowerment Program, nation-wide initiative for poverty alleviation funded by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, aims to target Jordan's poorest areas, where NHF implements the program in seven areas.
The Community Development Program executed a rigorous selection process to choose participants based on predetermined criteria, examining each family's level of individual need and the financial sustainability of their business. Rather than simply handing over a check for financial support, participants are provided instead with specialized training in business management as well as the materials and tools that are needed to get started – every component necessary to make their dreams a reality.
Before delving into the realm of bourgeoning enterprise, each family was coached to select a type of business to create. Fatima Al Hasanat, a widow, has struggled to make ends meet while managing the immediate expenses of feeding her children as well as planning for their future. She is excited to embark upon a small sheep husbandry business that will enable her to support her children, allowing them to focus on excelling in school and one day, university. Another young entrepreneur, Mohammad Abdullah, is keenly aware of the challenges that graduates face in an increasingly difficult job market, as he financially supports his ailing father and siblings. Mohammad, who aspires to graduate with his doctorate one day, is eager to open up his own dry-cleaning business, for which he has spent months painstakingly crafting a business plan and budget with mentoring from NHF-CDP.
Other new business ideas included small supermarkets, cafés, tailoring workshops, and kiosks for selling fresh cotton candy. Though the business ideas are simple and the capital is initially small – the financial value ranges from JD1,500 to JD3,000 – the program is a powerful force that generates income and allows these entrepreneurs to become active and contributing members of society.
Local leaders at partnered community-based organizations, such as the Queen Zain Al Sharaf Charity Association in Al Mafraq and the Charity Association of Ain Al-Basha, act not only as crucial mentors to the participants that offer guidance to help sustain their businesses, but as an extended family that offers moral support during this period of hard work and fundamental community change.