A few months ago, Latifa Qasim saw a great business opportunity in her West Bank village of Haris.
She and other local women were traveling a few kilometers to a neighboring village every time they needed to buy spices for cooking. Latifa realized that there was a demand for these products in her community — and that she had the potential to meet this need. Less than five months later, Latifa turned her idea into an operational business with support from the Near East Foundation (NEF).
Latifa applied to an NEF program that helps Palestinian women in the West Bank achieve financial independence and security by starting their own small businesses. NEF conducts regular training workshops for women in microenterprise development and business management, then assists them in creating their business and marketing plans. The women submit their own market studies, feasibility analyses, and budgets for consideration to receive start-up funding.