The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women is looking for new partners to assist their Enterprise Development Programme. As a member of the Steering Committee for this project, I want to add my voice to their search for support.
This program provides custom advice, assistance, and training to women in Africa and the Middle East. An illustrative example is Ikhlas Sawalha, a woman in Ramallah, a city in the central West Bank. Ikhlas began making and selling handmade soaps in an effort to support her family after her husband lost his job. The business did well, but she did not have the expertise to expand it beyond a modest level. The Enterprise Development Programme brought in consultants, who advised her at a discounted rate to repackage and brand her soaps. The CBFW program also helped her to expand her network for distribution and obtain financing for expansion. Now Siba Soaps is expanding, employs more people, and is negotiating a contract to supply a hotel chain.
I am sure I don’t have to tell the readers of this blog (but I will, anyway): such success stories represent far more than a tale of profits. When women like Ikhlas succeed, their families are fed, their children cared for, their neighbors employed, and their communities stabilized. The CBFW Enterprise Development Programme has already helped some 700 women like Ikhlas and plans to reach 3,000 more within the next three years.
The CBFW services are practical, well-grounded, and sustainable. Few organizations promise a better investment for the future. I have embedded the youtube video about the program below. You can download the Enterprise-Development-Programme pdf here. More information is available on the Cherie Blair Foundation website.