Stories

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Two young women entrepreneurs from the Republic of Moldova, Nadejda Hadjivu and Victoria Sobol, managed to start their businesses, promoting local, healthy products, during the COVID-19 pandemic. With support from the Organization for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises Sector (ODIMM) in Moldova, UN Women and the Government of Japan, they have been able to sustain and expand their businesses.
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Along with 194 women from Ajdabiya, Hana* participated in Tamkeen, a two-month vocational training aimed at meeting the immediate food needs of vulnerable women, support their skills development and create job opportunities for them so they can become self-sufficient. The programme is jointly implemented by UN Women, the World Food Programme (WFP), and local partner Asarya, with generous support from the Government of Japan.
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Lebanese businesswoman Caroline Fattal, 49 years old, has been named one of the “Most Powerful Arab Women in Business” by Forbes Middle East in 2014, 2015, 2017 and again last year, in 2020. Co-founder of Stand for Women, a Lebanon-based NGO, she has dedicated much of her time since 2017 to helping more female entrepreneurs enter the private sector and take on leadership positions. Since the August 2020 Beirut explosion, Fattal and Stand for Women have partnered with UN Women to support small women-owned businesses.
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The “Inclusive and Equitable Local Development Programme (IELD)”, a joint initiative of UNCDF, UNDP and UN Women, facilitates women’s access to the labour market and entrepreneurial ventures by fostering local public and private investments in women-led enterprises and small businesses that benefit women as well as their communities.
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To support livelihoods of women in Kigeme Refugee Camp, UN Women funded the Women Opportunity Centre, supported by the Government of Sweden. The Centre provides women a safe space, trainings and a showroom for their products to improve their livelihoods at the camp and beyond.
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Taher Sellami, a young entrepreneur and business student, is striving to use innovative technologies to drive social change in Tunisia and worldwide.
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Doaa Eshtayeh, from Nablus, Palestine, found her talent and passion in photography and has made it her profession. Doaa is the main provider for her family, thanks to the support she received through a UN Women project that helped her develop her skills and buy the equipment she needed.
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A 200-kilometre road (124 miles) project stretches between the townships of Batschenga, Ntui and Yoko, in central Cameroon. The road crosses farms, forests, water bodies and pastoral areas that sustain the mostly agrarian economy of nearly 40 villages and three towns. The road, a basic infrastructure that many countries take for granted, literally shapes the lives and livelihood of the people living along it. It decides whether a small entrepreneur will get her products transported on time,...
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In the historical town of Banepa, 35-year-old Sulochana Timalsina runs a little shop, half of which is a grocery store and the other half a beauty parlour. The two units share a single space with different purposes for her clients, but one single purpose for this young entrepreneur – empowerment.
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Stories of five women entrepreneurs who are transforming their own lives and shaping better future for their families, communities and nations.
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After some resistance from her husband, Ibtissam Jaber joined Yanouh cooperative in rural South Lebanon. Jaber, a mother of seven, loves producing traditional agro-foods and believes in the importance of contributing to her household’s income. By selling her products at food exhibitions across the country, she has now transitioned from being a small-scale producer to a profitable entrepreneur.
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For over a decade, Boko Haram insurgency has displaced over 200,000 people within the borders of Cameroon. After being on the run for years, Rachel Medivede and her family settled in the northern town of Mora, where she received counselling and livelihood support from a UN Women-supported programme. Medivede now works as a dressmaker and has also started her own business of selling beignets.
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By making jam, a woman-run organization is earning money to improve the inclusion of children with disabilities, while also building a whole community of support and encouragement.
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Indigenous women of Guatemala’s Polochic valley are feeding their families, growing their businesses and saving more money than ever before, with the help of a joint UN programme that’s empowering rural women.
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The future we want rests on freeing women’s power and potential. The numbers tell a compelling story: If women played an identical role in labour markets to that of men, as much as US$28 trillion, or 26 per cent, could be added to the global annual Gross Domestic Product by 2025.
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UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri starts today a visit to Viet Nam to participate in the “Women Entrepreneurs Forum: She Means Business”, which is part of the 2017 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Public-Private Dialogue on Women and the Economy, in Hue.
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Business leaders and global experts gathered on 6 September 2017 in London to discuss how the private sector can advance the recommendations of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel (HLP) on Women’s Economic Empowerment.
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A programme on Rural Women’s Economic Empowerment has benefited more than 2,000 rural women to date through trainings on basic business skills and financial management. It has also given them access to small loans at lower than average interest rates.
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Across rural Africa, women farmers are benefiting from Savings and Loans Groups to grow their businesses. Some 40 per cent of the UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality grantees in Africa are now using this methodology, leading to better nutrition, business development and sustainable land management outcomes. The Miguéze’ programme, for example, has impacted 2,780 people, and women are emerging as leaders and role models.
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In Tirana, Albania “Competitive Fund for Women Entrepreneurs” of the Municipality of Tirana supports innovative and comprehensive business ideas through funding and training.