Iqlaa equips small businesses for better market opportunities

A business owner showcasing their newly wrapped products.
Amina Al- Qaq showcasing her newly wrapped products after applying what she learned at the packaging and packing training Photo Link
April 02, 2024

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Multi-talented Amina Al-Qaq started ‘Zenuvia’ – a diverse business in Amman, Jordan - that specializes in self-care products and coloring gypsum figures for children. Her small business helped her survive challenging times in her life, and she has been so eager to see it grow and prosper. Nevertheless, with the different products she has created came challenges in packaging, marketing, and achieving competitive value, which have been hindering her from increasing her sales and achieving her desired profit and growth.

One of the most prominent problems that I faced was poor packaging. I tried consulting and seeking the help of many people, but without results, until I found answers in this training.

Amina, Small-business Owner

Basma Abu Rumman, from Al Balqaa’ governorate, put her innovation and passion for sustainability to action when she started transforming neglected fig and mulberry fruits from local farms into raw materials for her 'Al-Shahd' food supplies business. While her products have been appreciated and selling well, Basma has been struggling to manage large-scale production.

A business owner speaking with a customer.
Basma Abu Rumman attracting new customers using the communications skills she learned during the general business skills training.

The training provided many benefits, as it allowed me to exchange knowledge with fellow women business owners. From product insights to marketing tips, I am now equipped to enhance my business branding and product presentation.

Basma, Small-business owner

For 27 years, Hana Abu Qadiri has been running her small business 'Bayt Al-Jamid Al-Karki' in Al Karak and creating job opportunities for local women. While aiming to expand her market reach, Hana has been facing challenges in using social media advertising due to her lack of needed knowledge and skills.
As is the case with many home-based, micro, and small enterprises in Jordan, these three business owners share a common gap in fundamental business and information and communication technology skills, obstructing their ability to exploit market opportunities and grow.

Recognizing the need to address such skill gaps, the USAID Informal Livelihoods Advancement Activity (Iqlaa) launched four training programs covering general business skills, e-commerce, information and communication technology, and packaging and packing across eight governorates.

"I was thrilled when I was enrolled in Iqlaa’s packaging and packing training. Through the training, I was finally able to solve some product issues, such as leaking, by changing the packaging to a more suitable one. Additionally, I learned how to pack and arrange my products correctly, avoiding any potential damage, as that had cost me a lot before. The training also helped me understand the importance of effective branding and visibility and how to apply that in my product labels and packaging,” said Amina.

Commenting on the digital communications skills she gained, Basma said, "While browsing the social media for training opportunities, I came across Iqlaa’s general business skills training, which was completely new to me. The training was conveniently located in my governorate, which was a big advantage. It offered tremendous benefits, one of which I immediately applied for my participation at the 23rd National Olive Festival: the skill to effectively identify, attract, and communicate with potential customers. As a result, I attracted restaurant owners, enabling me to scale up next season’s production to meet the demands of restaurant establishments instead of being limited to orders by individuals only," expressed Basma.

As for Hana, Iqlaa’s e-commerce training introduced her and her business to the world of digital commerce, including the creation of an online store, starting social media pages, and promoting her products online. “I was able to solve an issue related to online advertisement on my Facebook page that had been ongoing for months until the trainer helped me finally solve it," shared Hana.

A business owner displaying their merchandise.
Hana Abu Qadiri, inspired by Iqlaa’s e-commerce training aims now to create an online store or website to include all of her business products.

The training sessions aimed at improving the business performance of 184 participants by enhancing their overall managerial skills, developing their knowledge of the markets they work in, and better manage their finances. Out of the total participants, 59 trainees including Amina, Basma, and Hana took part in the 23rd National Olive Festival that followed the training sessions, where they had the chance to apply their freshly gained knowledge. 22 participants have previously had e-stores developed for their businesses through Iqlaa’s e-commerce program. This reflects the holistic approach Iqlaa follows in supporting home-based and small businesses to have better competitive value, achieve increased profits, and be more resilient and sustainable.

For this year, Iqlaa aims to enroll around 270 more participants in the training program to help increase their access to market opportunities.

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