Today, the United States announced six grants totaling $350,000 to support hundreds of home-based businesses (HBBs) in Jordan, primarily those that operate in the food-processing sector.
The six grants were awarded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Local Enterprise Support Project (LENS) and include training for HBBs to improve their product quality and meet food safety standards. Some agreements also include directly linking HBBs with small loans programs and new end markets in order to help them develop and grow into thriving businesses. These initiatives will benefit home-based business in the governorates of Irbid, Zarqa, Karak, Amman, Tafilah and Aqaba.
The announcement took place at the Hiba for Nature factory in Zarqa, owned by local businesswoman Hiba Qandeel, who received financial support from USAID LENS in 2015 to expand her business. Ms Qandeel started her business out of her home and now employs 5 women on a full-time basis and up to 15 women on a seasonal basis from the local community in her new factory space to produce natural products such as vinegars and rose water.
Speaking at the event, United States Ambassador HE Alice Wells said, “The Hiba for Nature factory is a success story that all Jordanian women can aspire to. Although women-owned businesses constitute only 10% of all businesses in Jordan, they hire nine times more women than men-owned businesses. When we give women the opportunity to become business leaders, they create job opportunities for hundreds of other women.”
Zarqa Governor HE Dr. Ra’ed Al Adwan highlighted the importance of supporting home-based businesses in Jordan when he said, “These interventions have great potential to increase HBBs’ revenue and generate real increases in income for families in local communities, while also creating job opportunities and fostering local economic development, with women playing a leading role in this effort.”
A typical Jordanian home-based business earns 100 to 300 JOD per month, almost all of which goes into the family’s earnings in order to meet their livelihood needs. Through USAID LENS support, hundreds of HBBs will now be able to meet the national standards set by the Jordan Food and Drug Administration (JFDA) in order to access new markets, integrate into larger supply chains and become more competitive.
The United States government, through USAID, has provided foreign assistance from the American people to Jordan for more than 60 years.
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For more information, visit www.jordanlens.org.