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88 Syrian mentors help establish 60 UNDP supported microbusinesses in Mafraq

Programme seeks to provide income support for Syrian refugees with previous technical industry experience

By JT - Sep 28,2017 - Last updated at Sep 28,2017

AMMAN — The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has held a graduation ceremony for participants in the recently concluded programme “Skills Exchange Between Jordanians and Syrian Refugees”, which was implemented in partnership with Migrate in Greater Mafraq Municipality, Bala’maa, and Zaatari, a UNDP statement said.

Representatives from the Ministry of Interior’s Local Development Unit and the mayors of the participating municipalities attended the ceremony, in addition to representatives from supporting partners such as Regional Development & Protection Programme (RDPP), World Food Programme and National Microfinance Bank, according to the statement.

The graduation ceremony included an exhibition for products for 60 “successfully established” medium to small enterprises (SMEs) and the 88 Syrian mentors who participated in the UNDP led skills exchange project between Jordanians and Syrian refugees.

The mayors of the three municipalities congratulated the entrepreneurs on their newly established businesses, describing them as “cornerstones” for strengthening the economy at the community level.

They also highlighted that the young entrepreneurs are now role models who will inspire others to start their own businesses, the statement said.

The project was initiated in July 2016 with the purpose of exchanging technical and hands on skills and experience between 210 young Jordanian and 100 Syrian refugees in the targeted host communities. 

The programme sought to provide income support for Syrian refugees with previous technical industry experience who can also be mentors to Jordanian entrepreneurs, as well as to support vulnerable Jordanians with improved employability and entrepreneurship skills while strengthening their social cohesion through personal and professional interactions, said the statement. 

Over eight months, Jordanian entrepreneurs and Syrian mentors worked together to develop a business plan for a microbusiness, establish it, generate revenues and maintain clients. 

The entrepreneurs and mentors represented more than six industries including food processing, construction, sewing and tailoring, beauty and hair dressing, carpentry, and agriculture, the statement read.

A total of 60 SMEs are now operational, with many showing positive indications of client and revenue growth while expressing optimism about the future. 

 

One entrepreneur, Walaa Abu Qdeiri, who operates a home-based bakery, said that the programme has enabled her to support her family financially while working at home and to become a role model for other women in soceity, the statement concluded.

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