A Role Model for a Business Success


Last year, Huwaida invested her husband’s small retirement fund and all the money she could scrape together into constructing a 770 square meter greenhouse. But that was all she could do because securing funding from financial institutions is not an option for most Palestinian women. Then Huwaida heard about an initiative funded through the Rangoonwala Foundation that provides business training and $300 in startup capital to women entrepreneurs. With that small grant in hand, she bought 1,900 tomato seedlings as well as 100 kilos of wire and 250 metal hooks to support the growing plants. It took Huwaida only 12 weeks to harvest a bumper crop, and she now picks 70 boxes of tomatoes weighing 17 kilos every month. Being a successful farmer has changed Huwaida’s status at home and in the community. Her children are proud of her, and she has gained a reputation for her hard work and strength of character. She wants to be a role model for other women and is happy to share what she has learned. “The business training taught me communication skills, record keeping, and the importance of paying myself for my efforts,” Huwaida says. “Many women work as volunteers in their own businesses, but not anymore!”

Huwaida’s success has also given her more confidence— something she finds helpful in negotiating more effectively with suppliers and traders. Her reputation for high quality tomatoes also means she has more options about whom to buy from and sell to, which helps increase her profit. “I now feel like a bank,” she says. “I’m economically independent and can help out other people if need be. And I’m able to pay the fees for two of my five children to attend university. My life is no longer stressful!”

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