The USAID Jordan Local Enterprise Support Project (LENS) signed an agreement today with Safeway Jordan to support the competitiveness of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) and cooperatives in Jordan’s food-processing sector. The partnership will provide four businesses with the training and support necessary to become suppliers for Safeway, benefitting a total of 142 employees and members of participating Irbid MSEs and cooperatives. Partner MSEs will initially include producers of packaged and processed dairy, vegetable, and pickled goods in the Irbid Governorate. Corporate supply chains represent a huge growth opportunity for MSEs by providing them new sources of revenue and a chance to improve the quality of their products. MSEs in the Jordanian food processing sector, however, face constraints such as assurance of food quality and safety as well as reliability of supply. To address these challenges, USAID LENS will provide MSEs with training and technical assistance to improve the quality of their end products, and Safeway will help them comply with market standards and supermarket requirements. “We believe in sustainable corporate social responsibility support that engages with small businesses to prepare them to enter the marketplace and survive its complexities,” said Managing Director of Safeway Jordan Dr. Laith Abu Hilal, emphasizing the need to support Jordanian small businesses through public-private partnerships. “Securing Safeway as a client will be a huge achievement for us,” said Eman Zoubi, President of Zahr Ar Rumman Association in Bani Kinana, which produces pickled goods. “Not only will it bring a significant increase in revenues, but it will open the door to many other business opportunities.” The growth of MSEs is vital to Jordan’s local economic development. Large corporations such as Safeway are important partners, as they can spur small business growth and help to integrate MSEs into local business networks. USAID LENS will pilot this model in Irbid and expand further into other governorates during the course of the project.