Age: 25 years old
Location: Askar refugee camp
Business Plan: Hairdresser’s Salon
How did you decide to participate in FWEN? What have you gained from the program?
Rose graduated from An-Najah University in 2008 with a degree in social science, but was never able to find a job related to her degree. She was taking a computer class at a local community center when she saw an advertisement for the FWEN program online. She had already worked for nine years in her family’s informal hairdresser business run out of their home (first assisting her aunt, then taking over the business five years ago), and she had always wished that someone could help her to open a formal hairdresser’s salon. When she saw the advertisement for FWEN, she knew this was her opportunity. Later, when she received a call after her interview to say she’d been accepted to the FWEN program, she was so happy she was jumping for joy. She promised herself that once she did the training, she wouldn’t be stopped; even if she didn’t receive funding, she would still have made important connections and gained valuable skills.
During the FWEN training, Rose met people that she never dreamt of meeting or speaking to – particularly the trainers from the Small Enterprise Center and successful women who served as role models – and their experience and support inspired her. She says that she has learned new strategies from the training that she now uses when dealing with her husband and children. She never thought she could persuade others to do what she wanted, but now they are listening to her point of view and being convinced by her. She also reports that she longer lets herself get worried and stressed out by small problems – she has a better sense of her priorities and what the most important things are in her life.
What is your business plan?
In order to make her hairdresser’s salon a reality, Rose plans to rent a storefront in the Askar refugee camp, where she lives. She will provide a variety of services in her salon, including hairdressing, makeup, and facial care. There is a significant market for these services in the camp, and although there are already several salons, Rose has selected a location far from the competition. What’s more, she’ll offer a new and unique service in the camp – she will make house visits to clients who are unable to leave their homes to go to the salon.
What are your next steps? What help would you like to receive?
Rose has already picked out the storefront she would like to rent, and is ready to move forward as soon as she receives sufficient funding. Her other priority is to supplement her on-the-job experience with an official certification in hairdressing, which is provided by the Palestinian Vocational Training Center in Nablus. She plans to register for the certification program in late November. She is also interviewing with the local YMCA for the possibility of a grant to fund her business.
Rose is already hard at work, operating her business informally out of her home until she is able to move into her new shop. She receives around three clients per week – and sometimes many more when there is a big wedding in the neighborhood.
What are your dreams for the future, and how will your business help you to achieve them?
Rose’s inspiration is a famous program called “With Juwail You are Beautiful” on Arab satellite TV, where a woman provides full makeovers to women on the show. Rose dreams of having a center that provides services like this, and would like one day to travel to see the Juwail show live.
She also dreams of owning her own house and the security that this would provide. (Her husband works as a carpenter, and their family currently rents a small apartment.) The entrepreneurship bug has bitten her, and she hopes that one day her husband can start and own his own carpentry business as well. She also wishes that her son, who has a developmental disability, could receive the specialized treatment and education that he needs.