Promoting inclusive business and social entrepreneurship in Palestine

Duration: 36 months. 2017-2020

Funding and partnership: The project “Let’s start up” (AID010927/EDUCAID/TOC) is funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and implemented by Educaid. Among the local partners: Rantis Young Ladies Society, Aswat Society, Birzeit University An-Najah University, the Chamber of Commerce of Ramallah and Nablus. Among the italian partners: ARCO and “Rete Italiana Disabilità e Sviluppo (RIDS)”- The italian network for disability and development”.

Context

In Palestine, the unemployment rate of persons with disabilities is around 87%. In this context, women with disabilities face double discrimination. Strong social stigma, poor implementation of the existing regulations and the weakness of the Disabled People Organizations (DPOs) are among the causes of the exclusion of women with disabilities and mothers of persons with disabilities from the labor market.  The creation of social enterprises will allow the promotion of an inclusive economic development by creating job opportunities and by contributing to the resolution of social problems with business initiatives.

Objectives

Promoting inclusive business through the creation of social enterprises that foster the inclusion of women with disabilities and mothers of persons with disabilities in Palestine. Strengthening the role of DPOs and raising awareness on the rights of people with disabilities, and women with disabilities in particular.

What we did

Research
We elaborated the tools and the methodology for the development of the baseline survey in collaboration with the University of Birzeit and the An-Najah University. We drafted the methodology as well as the quali/quantitative questionnaire for social entrepreneurs. During a field mission, we also interviewed several key informants in order to better understand the local context.

Training
We also trained 60 women with disabilities and mothers of people with disabilities, in Ramallah and Nablus, on social business and business design. The aim of the course was to provide the women with the necessary competences and knowledge to develop a ​​social business idea. With lectures and group activities, we explored the concept of entrepreneurship, economic sustainability and supported the development of social business ideas. The second part of the training, concerning market analysis and how to develop a business plan, will be delivered by the local Universities and the Chambers of Commerce. The best business ideas that will be presented by the women at the end of the training will receive a grant and will have access to the incubators that will be created within the local Universities.