Three days of pitching sessions for entrepreneurs with UNDP and Ruwwad Micro-Venture Fund
A panel of six experts heard in the past three days the pitching presentations of aspiring entrepreneurs from the governorates of Karak, Balqa and Irbid, who were selected as part of business training activities falling under UNDP’s “Youth Employment Generation Programme In Arab Transition Countries” and “Mitigating the Impact of the Syrian Refugee Crisis on the Jordanian Host Communities" projects, implemented in coordination with the Government of Jordan and funded by the Government of Japan.
The pitching sessions, relating to the “Establishing and Managing your own Small Business” Training workshops completed during the last two months in partnership with Ruwwad Micro-Venture Fund, were held at the King Abdullah II Fund for Development Training Facility, at King Abdullah Business Park in Amman.
During the three days of pitching sessions, a total of (65) prospective entrepreneurs were each given eight minutes to present their business development ideas and explain their project concept and strategy. The panel composed of UNDP representatives in addition to Jordanian business man and women analysed the ideas; identifying those with greatest potential to serve local communities, provide employment opportunities, build on strengths and mitigate weaknesses. The (31) best business proposals won funding up to 6,000 JOD (approximately US$ 8,500). Supporting the start-up of promising micro-businesses will have a direct impact in reducing socio-economic inequalities and fostering gender equality in these three governorates, which face high poverty and unemployment rates.
Fifty-four old Jamila Bani Amar from Koora, Irbid, who presented her business plan to establish an accessories shop today, stressed the importance of the programme by saying: “After many training experiences, this training was the first of its kind that focused on how to translate ideas into a practical plan, rather than just developing concepts. Training and trainers were excellent, the material provided was very useful and even my sons gave it a look”. A Jordanian national, Jamila lived and worked previously as an art teacher in Kuwait and Iraq for many years, but she and her family were uprooted and relocated twice due to political turmoil of the Gulf wars. “I currently work from home,” she says, “and now I want to scale-up the business: I am willing to train women from my community so to provide them with new job opportunities”.
Training activities that UNDP is implementing on employment creation and income generating programmes are derived from the increasing need to help Jordanians lay the foundations of future success by providing targeted support and feedback to prospective entrepreneurs, and making business planning skills more widely accessible to young people seeking employment. As the training activities have started, the most promising microbusinesses have received funding as part of the two projects.
Attendance from UNDP's representatives, the Embassy of Japan, Ruwwad and the Jordanian business community was ensured on each of the three days.