AMMAN (December) - From November 23 to 27, 2014, the USAID-OPIC Jordan Loan Guarantee Facility (JLGF) in cooperation with the Jordan Women Industrial Community conducted a highly innovative five-day competitiveness and financing workshop for 19 women entrepreneurs and associations representing manufacturers located in Amman, Sahab and Marka Industrial Cities, Karak, and Ajloun.  

The workshop is part of JLGF’s effort to address the financing gap for women-owned Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that are too big for microfinance but considered too risky by banks.  JLGF is addressing this financing gap by building the financial management capacity of women SME entrepreneurs and providing loan guarantees to enable them to obtain loans from JLGF’s partner banks.  

Speaking of her experience at the workshop, Ms. Katya Abassi, Chairwoman of the Jordan Women Industrial Community shared, “Enabling women entrepreneurs to apply state-of-the-art tools like business model canvas and cloud-based financial projections to their own businesses made this one of the most useful training courses I have ever attended. We all gained knowledge and networks that will go a long way to expand and sustain our businesses. "

Maleeka Mohammad, founder and owner of Jadara Electronics and participant of a previous workshop organized by JLGF, went on to obtain bank financing that allowed her to expand her business.  This  year, on November 18, Maleeka won the Bank Al Etihad “Business Woman of the Year” Award;  a feat that will provide further fuel for business expansion.  

Sessions at the workshop included presentations from JLGF’s partner banks including Bank Al Etihad, Jordan Ahli Bank, Capital Bank, Cairo Amman Bank, and Arab Bank, on their services for women owned businesses.    

“JLGF delivers results by stimulating private-sector-to-private-sector investment -- the most effective path to sustainable economic growth.  During the last two years, JLGF has issued 140 loan guarantees backing over $35 million in loans to enable a wide variety of SMEs to expand and start-up their businesses including clean technology, ICT, education, and women owned SMEs in manufacturing and vocational training services.”  Ten percent of loan guarantees issued by JLGF have supported women-owned SMEs and more than 25 percent of businesses supported by JLGF are outside of Amman.  

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