AMMAN (December 16) – Nineteen women entrepreneurs and representatives from Jordanian manufacturing associations recently completed a five-day workshop designed to build their business acumen and skills in obtaining financing.  The November 23-27 training was sponsored by the USAID-OPIC Jordan Loan Guarantee Facility (JLGF) in cooperation with the Jordan Women’s Industrial Community.

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

“This workshop gave women entrepreneurs state-of-the-art tools, like business model canvases and cloud-based financial projections, to apply to their businesses,” said workshop participant Katya Abassi, chairwoman of the Women’s Industrial Community.  “We gained knowledge and built networks that will help expand and sustain our businesses."

Maleeka Mohammad, the founder and owner of Jadara Electronics in Amman, was able to apply the skills she learned in a previous JLGF workshop to obtain bank financing and expand her company.  On November 18, Maleeka won the Bank Al Etihad “Business Woman of the Year” Award, which she expects will further fuel her business’s expansion.  

The recent JLGF workshop included presentations about services for women-owned businesses by JLGF partner banks, including Bank Al Etihad, Jordan Ahli Bank, Capital Bank, Cairo Amman Bank and Arab Bank.

During the past two years, JLGF has issued 140 loan guarantees backing more than $35 million in loans.  This has enabled SMEs in information and communication technology, education, manufacturing and vocational training services to launch or expand operations.  Ten percent of the loan guarantees issued by JLGF have supported women-owned SMEs.  More than 25 percent of the businesses supported by JLGF are based outside Amman.  

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