Unemployment is an alarming problem in Jordan, with the country’s unemployment rate reaching 24.7% in the fourth quarter of 2020.
According to the World Bank, Jordan has “the lowest female labour force participation of a country not at war.” Unemployment rates among women rose sharply to 32.8% at the end of 2020, likely because the majority of employed women in Jordan work in informal sectors, mostly in agriculture, education, small businesses, and the like – are common, that lack job security. One key to promoting long-term economic growth is achieving greater participation of women in the labour force.
Data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor suggests Jordanian women entrepreneurs are essential to Jordan’s economic success. Yet women still face challenges in accessing information, funds and financing.
Recently, SPARK and TTi, a non-profit organisation supporting entrepreneurship in Jordan, under the Jobs and Prospectives programme funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been developing and designing a women-focused entrepreneurship training curriculum. The training focuses on the skills needed like business planning, financial management and business registration in Jordan to create viable and sustainable businesses, helping participants manage most of the risks they may face and their business with confidence.
Together, we have trained four trainers to deliver the new curriculum to women in different parts of the country. “At this stage, everything is ready to start training at least 400 women across the kingdom. We started the outreach campaign to reach the target women in the governorates,” says Rafah Tarwaneh, Programme Manager at TTi.
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The training is open to women interested in starting a business, women entrepreneurs, young leaders, and workers in economic development, empowerment of women and youth. It will be conducted online and offline across the governorates in coordination with many local partners.
The course teaches participants about entrepreneurship and its importance to women in society and provides solutions to common challenges that affect women’s entrepreneurial endeavours. Furthermore, practical assignments are one of the core components of the new curriculum. They serve as a bridge to develop managerial skills and help women prepare their business plans.
Through the training, SPARK and TTi are ensuring that both Jordanian and Syrian women have access to tools that promote business creation and longevity, such as strengthening a network of contacts, leveraging mentoring networks and, in particular, finding sources for funding.
When women have the tools to prosper in their enterprises, such as mentorship and access to finance, they are able to contribute to more affluent economies. Increasing women’s participation in entrepreneurship has the potential to create hundreds of new businesses, as well as grow job opportunities and income levels.