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Student turns entrepreneur with support from Madad Project

May 17,2021 - Last updated at May 17,2021

Sujoud Al Smadi started her own business after undergoing training offered by the Maddad Project (Photo courtesy of the BDC)

AMMAN — Sujoud Al Smadi, 22, started a small business in her native village of Al Mansoura, putting to use the strategic location of the village nestled between Ajloun, Balqa and Jerash governorates.

“The town has stunning views and is considered a green paradise. However, unfortunately, it lacks many of the basic services needed for residents and tourists alike,” Sujoud commented on the situation in Al Mansoura, which was previously known as Al Khushaiba.

Sujoud, who lives in a large family consisting of nine members, started selling basic life necessities from home in order to help women in the village.

 “I study Arabic language at Al Balqa Applied University. As I return to home every day, I bring groceries and other essentials for the women in my village,” she said.

Sujoud decided to further develop her business when she took part in the “Enhancing access to protection, participation and services for refugee women and host communities in Jordan” programme. The project is funded by the European Union through the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian Crisis, the “Madad Fund”, implemented by the coalition led by the Euro-Mediterranean Feminist Initiative (EFI) and managed by the Business Development Centre (BDC).

“While attending the trainings in this programme, I realised that establishing and running a small store is not that difficult. Therefore, after finishing the two training courses in Life Skills and Project Management, I carried out a project feasibility study in order to identify the best way to serve women and homemakers in the area,” she said.

Sujoud lacked the financial resources to start her enterprise but that did not stop her.

“My father offered to build a store on a plot of land that he owned next to the house. I collected money from family and I applied for a loan to get the remaining amount I needed, and finally, I successfully opened my small store,” she said.

Sujoud soon started repaying to her family and the bank all the while covering her expenses as a student from revenues.

She managed to find a balance between studies and business. Sujoud’s sister substitutes for her to allow her to go to class. Sujoud feels great pride in having established the very first store in her village.

“I built a 35-square-metre mini-market. Madad Project helped me greatly by providing all the needed materials and supplies. I now want to expand my business by introducing new goods and incorporating a home delivery service. I am also thinking of recruiting new employees.”

 (The Business Development Centre contributed this article to The Jordan Times)

 

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