Jordan Valley Links: Enterprise Development for Women and Youth in the Jordan Valley
The Jordan valley is considered one of the less affluent areas of Jordan despite its farming and tourist potential.The remoteness of some areas in the valley and the lack of affordable and accessible transportation options makes market access very challenging for the region particularly for women.
MEDA, a not-for profit organization whose mission is to create business solutions to poverty, studied the situation of women in the valley and have shown that women’s level of economic participation is linked to the level of support received from their families, especially their male family members.
To address this, MEDA, in partnership with the Government of Canada, is implementing the Jordan Valley Links project which will provide women and youth, as well as existing market actors, with the capacity building and incentives required to develop their businesses and better integrate women and youth producers in three value chains: food processing, tourism and clean technologies. Women and youth will develop and expand their production and/or businesses through training, coaching/mentorship, networking opportunities and market engagement.
With a $19.1 Million contribution from Global Affairs Canada ( GAC) and $3 Million from MEDA, five-year project (2016-2021) will directly support 25,000 women and youth entrepreneurs in increasing their incomes and their contribution to Jordan’s economic growth in the Jordan Valley and surrounding areas. JVL is interested in approaches that address the relationship between women and men to ensure that it is equitable, sustainable development with women and men sharing decision-making and power.
The ultimate outcome of the project is to increase the contribution by women and youth to Jordan’s economic growth. JVL will seek to support women and youth in the Jordan Valley to seize new opportunities in targeted sectors and in turn become strong economic actors. JVL will use two main approaches to achieve this goal:
- Improving women’s and youth’s entrepreneurial and business acumen through capacity building and market linkages;
- Working with communities, families, and market actors to reduce barriers to entry for enterprise development for women and youth.
- support women and youth to improve their financial management and entrepreneurial skills, and gain confidence to participate and lead in decision-making in their home, community and businesses.
- provide services and networking opportunities to communities with help from Lead entrepreneurs and female/ youth sales agents.
- help mobilize communities, women and youth, while having access to finance through connections with banks and micro finance institutions.
- help the youth/women gain access to information and resources needed to develop their businesses.