From the CEO's Desk
"A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not in the branch but in her own wings."
I am proud to be the first writer of the second newsletter of 2019. In it, you will find the power of women who are actively fulfilling their dream!
This quarter we were honored to host visitors from all around the world who came to learn about our work. In my opinion, this is the definition of 20 years of success!
We had representatives from an NGO in Latvia, a mission from FB USA, and the Mayor of Washington DC with her staff. Through this collaboration, these representatives learned how women's empowerment stems from economic independence, which in turn brings women the confidence and courage to plan and take charge of their life.
I am proud to be a link in this chain of women who change lives.
Meeting with product managers from FB USA
|A visit by the Mayor of Washington and her team in Haifa|
From The Board Members
"A Business of Your Own" alumni employ women in their new businesses
A new evaluation of our organization, that will be published in the next few days, shows how the empowerment of women through personal, economical, and communal growth allows for greater access to opportunities. These opportunities advance women’s social and economic situation.
Below is information that expresses how the meaningful journey they have taken allow them success for the rest of their lives seen, not only through opening a business:
1. A heightened feeling of capability, as compared to their previous beliefs in themselves. Approx. 90% of the women attested that they believe in themselves and in their capabilities more. These women speak their minds and feel more confident in their decision-making skills while being more decisive in economic decisions.
2. Increase of knowledge: 30% of the alumni went on to academic studies, managerial, and professional training, as well as business training.
3. For the past years we have witnessed a high number of women who finish the program (81%) become employed while an exceptionally high percentage of women (48%) have opened an independent business following the program. 71% of these independent businesses are still active 5 years later.
4. We have witnessed an actual revolution in how our women's perception and actions lead to a healthier and socially meaningful life for their children, their family, their community, and themselves. Over the past 20 years this change increases their investment in their own journey, creating a bettered social and economic community for the Israeli economy and society.
Written by : Lenny Milo, CO-Chair , CEO of Dov Lautman Forum,
based on the research made by Dr. Vered Haas and analyzed by social analyst Guy Ravid
What Have We Been Doing Lately
Opening of A business of your own" in Jerusalem
Meeting of a business of our own in Ramat Gan
Opening of A business of your own" in Cabri
It has only been four months and we have stories galore:
Recently, we have opened three new programs of "A Business of One's Own". Two of these programs exist through cooperation with the local municipalities of Maof in Ramat Gan and in Kibbutz Cabri, located in western galilee. The last new program opened through collaboration with MATI in Jerusalem for ultra-orthodox women.
We have also held closing ceremonies in Rishon Lezion and will hold ceremonies shortly in Sderot and Ofakim for our graduates. In these ceremonies, the overall satisfaction, pride, plethora of products, colors, smells and tastes allow for a beyond meaningful event.
Beer Sheba Forum for businesswomen continues to give our alumni, from four different programs, much needed support once a month.
There's also light in the northern side of the tunnel: a financial education course will start in Or Haganuz for mothers with many children of newly religious families.
Being in the field it is obvious to us, that the need for economic independence for women is everywhere, and we are here – giving all of these women a chance. Turning them into BIG WOMEN with small businesses.
Participants of Beer Sheba Forum
Participants Tell Us
Teacher and therapist of Triyoga, manager of smartfit institute of Dr. Noa Weiss and an alumni of "A Business of our Own”, west galilee, 2018
My love affair with yoga started 30 years ago with a book I read. I started meditating and the connection was instantaneous. Following life's twists and turns the hobby turned into a profession. Unfortunately, I could not make a living through this love and still needed another job. Despite all the efforts I made, I barely made minimum wage. Holidays turned into economic losses, with no sick leave
.I knew I was doing something wrong
Frustration and loss of confidence followed, then came depression. I was in a vicious cycle. To come out of it, I started telling myself: "I deserve to make a living from the profession I love" ; "I deserve to be independent and successful" ; "I deserve wealth"!
I built a business plan with help I found on the internet, for free (because who can afford coaching or courses?) I quit my job and was on my way to my independence – a teacher and therapist in the Triyoga method. I took from my savings (meant originally for my pension) to develop a website and a Facebook page, as well as PR and minimal equipment.
At first, I felt success, but then I felt stuck, and after a few months I was stressed, and felt unable to continue. I told myself, "take a breather! there's nothing to do but DO! I need help!" I called Women Empowerment, with help from the Maavarim organization, and my road to salvation was clear!
I went to a meeting and was introduced to "A Business of Your Own". My first reaction was negative: thinking I can't, I'm out of funds, etc. I am so glad, that I realized this is a subsidized course and I felt this is a new opportunity to help me be independent! I got the necessary funds and enlisted.
In this in depth, very invested course, I received so many useful tools, emotional support and practical support. I learned, trained, found my weak spots, felt the difficulties and the despair but knew – I was not alone !
In the program we learned how to strengthen others, cheer along and think together outside the box, empower and receive courage and energy, to dare and run with my dream, plan and get ahead.
I am thankful for the road I'm on and continue to advance !
Dear women: there's nothing to be afraid of – just do it ! until you make it and feel good about what you do – for that is the success ! you deserve it !
Owner of Liberty Babies production and sale of textile products for babies
Facebook Liberty babies
I worked in minimal wage jobs: waiting tables, taking care of the elderly, a sales' woman in a store. At a certain point, I decided that one day I would open my own business. I was practical, so I took a job while learning to sew in my spare time. I started with pre-walking shoes and bedsheets for babies. It was a tough period and money was tight. Looking back – I do not know how I made it.
From the age of 15, I would work anywhere: waiting tables, cleaning stair ways- sometimes three jobs at a time-. I would do anything to help my mother with the home expenses, to be able to support myself and my studies. I did not have a choice.
This is the reality that I wanted to spare from my children. Despite my divorce, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to study and develop skills instead of being at the sympathy of others. I believe in god and this belief made me stronger. This faith did not allow me be sad about giving up material things but instead I tried to be optimistic and believed that my business deserved to succeed "big time". Once I started my business, I received good feedback from my clients and my community. This motivated and showed me that I made the right decision.
In the future I hope to find an investor, so that I will be able to outsource the sewing of the products and concentrate on the PR and marketing of the business.
My Goals: that the business will grow, and I will become a licensed producer this year. Being independent without financial backing is not simple nor easy. Sometimes, it feels like you are battling against all odds. For me, however, this is the chance for a life, rather than mere survival. It is a chance to reach a higher income. I also want to be an example for my children. I would like them to see, that investing in oneself and working hard pays off. I want them to know that they can do anything they put their mind to, If they want it and dream it.
My Dream: to succeed, to have a large turnover, and that my products will sell in boutique stores all around Israel and maybe even abroad. To have economic security and be able to LIVE. Today I only survive, I don’t' live.
For the article by Vered in MAKO press here
Representatives from two Jewish federations came to visit us in April. These federations have been supporting us for many years.
Representatives from the Jewish federation of Pittsburgh met us in Naamat Carmiel. The visitors met Ellen Masood, one of our alumni, who owns a sensory studio in Carmiel, and Hickam Araida, owner of a catering business. Hickam also provided the excellent lunch and told her amazing story to our visitors.
The representatives of the Jewish federation of Miami also visited and were hosted in the home of Michal Shwartz, an artist who graduated from our program. They met Michal Akadi, a parenting couch as well.
These visits are an excellent opportunity for the representatives to get to know the women whom they support. The visitors learn about the journey our alumni have taken, with the assistance of our organization, to open a business and grow toward economic independence.
In May, we hosted a delegation of the municipality of Washington DC and the bureau of commerce of the city. This delegation wanted to learn more about our programs in preparation of the mayor's visit and possible future co-operations. The visitors came after reading about us and our unique programs.
Representatives from the Jewish federation of Pittsburgh met us in Naamat Carmiel
Representatives of Miami federation visiting one of our alumni at home
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Elbit Systems for businesses owned by women
We have been working with Elbit Systems on our contribution toward women's day in March. This includes the sale of products from our alumni’s businesses. These businesses were given huge exposure in a fair for the employees of Elbit. All the income from this fair went toward the businesses of the women. This event was held in front of thousands of employees and produced a meaningful educational experience while also increasing our women’s businesses income.
We are getting ready to start "A Business of One's Own" program for Bedouin women in the Negev. A meeting was held in May with Sohir Zaatra, a financial advisor and business trainer, who introduced the program to 15 communal employment coordinators and Hannan Alkarnawi, a community manager in the Ryan Southern Center*. The program is specifically tailored for the Bedouin community and for the needs of the women, who's work is mainly around their community and in their homes. The program aims to turn their hobbies into income sources. We hope to open the first program in the next few months.
Advisor Soher Zaatra in Be'er Sheva
The Ryan Center creates an infrastructure for the advancement of employment in the Arab community and the involvement of men and women in the labor market, working with the co -operation of the ministry of labor, ministry of social equality, the ministry of agriculture and Joint Israel.
Economic education for women in Ha'or Haganuz was created for women with many children in a newly religious community. This program assists women who need help balancing their families' economic situation. For ideological reasons, their personal technological education and skills are low since they have no computers at home. These women only communicate with the outside world through computers provided in the local community center.
Yes, such a place does exist in Israel.
The women in this community arrived motivated to remediate their debt in the bank and their multiple loans. This debt is due to, not only as a result of low income, but the result of the story we tell ourselves far too often about how "I deserve this"; "I absolutely need this"; and "there's no choice".
The women in our program learn how to set their own economic goals and we then teach them about how they can reach these goals. Later in the program, they learn how to manage their spending and to talk about economic responsibility within their families. Each family member learns financial responsibility according to their age and obligation.
After the program, the women report back about their progress. There's a change in their perception and they discover abilities within themselves they did not know they had.
It is a true privilege and honor to empower these women, while also influencing their families and themselves for today and the future.
Advisor & lecturer
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Baking workshops for children and adults, Designed cakes & Cupcakes
Facebook: שלינקה עוגות מעוצבות
Instegrem : shelinka4
Shelly Label is a "A Business of Your Own" alumni from Rishon LeZion 2019
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Economic Empowerment for Women, 119 Jaffa Rd, P.O.B 9148 Haifa 3109101 Israel
Phone: 972-48520027 firstname.lastname@example.org