The USAID Jordan Loan Guarantee Facility (JLGF) is helping women grow their businesses. A three day workshop was conducted to help women SME owners seek financing for startup or expansion. Case studies were presented to show how to use financial analysis and projections to determine financing needs and improve business performance. On the last day of the workshop, representatives from JLGF partner banks including Arab Bank, Cairo Amman Bank, Housing Bank, Jordan Ahli Bank, and Bank Etihad had an opportunity to network with all the participants. 32 women SME owners participated in the workshop.
Ms. Dara Odeh, owner of Janna Fitness and Beauty in Aqaba, said: “It was one of the most successful workshops which I have attended because we quickly learned the financial basics needed by business women in different sectors.”
Ms. Hind Al-Fayez, owner of an advertising agency and television producer, said that after experiencing the workshop and meeting all the female SME owners she was inspired to network with the other participants to start organizing a Women’s SME Owner Association that will empower female SME owners and bring their needs to the attention of Government and financial sector.
Ms. Sima Najjar, a young entrepreneur has already started three businesses: SIMS Event and Model Management agency; Pink Dust, a retail store for local designers to showcase and sell their clothes; and, 3) EKEIF.com, a how-to video website which will be launched in August. She indicated that the workshop provided important financial basics that will help her start up EKEIF.com.
Samia Mushahwar and Salwa Qattan, owners of PACE Advertising Agency, said, “The workshop was fantastic and eye-opening. We learned how to look at financial numbers in different ways. We also benefitted from building a network with the other participants.”
Also Ms. Shireen Abu Deil, owner of Naqsh Design House, said, “I benefited a lot from the workshop by learning how to use financial analysis to enhance both decision making and future planning.”
Ms. Suheir Al Smairi, owner of Ibn Hayyan for Medical and Lab Supplies, stated, “At the beginning I was planning to attend only for two hours of the workshop, but after I experienced the great benefits of this workshop, I changed my mind and attended the all three days workshop.
The participants expressed strong interest in a second workshop to go into more depth on financial analysis, developing cash flow projections, and business performance improvement. JLGF is planning the second workshop for early September.
The US$250 million JLGF was established with the assistance of the U.S. Government to provide partial loan guarantees and technical assistance to enable banks to provide financing to creditworthy but previously underserved SMEs. The JLGF is being implemented by CHF International.