Over the year 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic, conflict and economic disaster have severely and excessively affected women. But thanks to Alfanar, a network that is empowering women social enterprises that is changing this norm.
With only 27% in average of women represented in the formal workforce across the Arab region, women’s economic empowerment and gender equality are significant challenges that Alfanar, thanks to public support, are responding to every day through its funding and mentorship to bold social entrepreneurs.
Since 2019, Alfanar has offered management support and training to 60 women social enterprises across Jordan. 82% of its portfolio is headed by women social entrepreneurs.
Fatimah Alzgoul, the founder and driving force behind Green Nutrition, is one of the social enterprises Alfanar has supported in Jordan.
One day, Fatimah realised she didn’t need retirement. She thought it was not for her. With a low retirement salary, three children in university, and a personal motivation to work, she started searching for ways to help her community of Ajloun in Northern Jordan.
Fatimah knew women who had been cultivating their own delicious and organic herbs for many years but who were not succeeding in selling their products. Their unique sumac and wild, aromatic thyme were of the best quality Fatimah had come across, but for the most part, their products were being neglected. Fatimah decided to change this.
She started Green Nutrition to provide local Ajloun women producers an opportunity to market their produce and increase their income. Today, Green Nutrition brings together the natural products of 20 women producers under the same brand and wants to grow.
With Alfanar network’s training, Fatimah and her team were able to organise their strategy, ensuring quality and value-for-money in their growth efforts. Thanks to Alfanar’s in-person visits and management support, for example, Green Nutrition improved their branding and marketing strategies to become more relevant to international markets.
Alfanar network also helped Fatimah to connect with other social enterprises in Jordan who are currently exporting to the US and Canada. These connections have given her a better understanding of packaging and pricing standards, while also becoming more integrated into the social enterprise sector in Jordan.
Over the past two years, Alfanar has provided 31 training sessions and continuous mentorship to 109 staff members from 60 remarkable social enterprises like Green Nutrition. 87% of trainees reported that they were able to improve their own social enterprise’s performance as a direct result of Alfanar’s training and support.
Since 2019 and in partnership with Plan International, Ruwwad and EURICSE, Alfanar has provided training and management support to 60 women social enterprises working to educate, employ and empower disadvantaged women and youth across East Amman, Ajloun and Tafileh in Jordan as part of the EU-funded Mubaderoon initiative.