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Enhance Resilience for Micro-businesses and Create Sustainable livelihood Opportunities in the Gaza Strip

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Launch of “Enhance Resilience for Micro- businesses and Create Sustainable livelihood Opportunities in the Gaza Strip (SAWA)” Project

Launch of “Enhance Resilience for Micro- businesses and Create Sustainable livelihood Opportunities in the Gaza Strip (SAWA)” Project

On December 13th, 2019, the European Union launched a new project called 'SAWA' (Arabic word for ‘Together’) with an overall objective to enhance resilience for Micro- businesses and create sustainable livelihood opportunities in the Gaza Strip. The project will be implemented by Enabel - Belgian development agency with a budget of 1,650,000 EURO and a duration of 36 months.

The Gazan private sector has proven to be the main contributor to jobs creation and self-employment in the Gaza Strip. Over the last decade, with the different shocks happened starting with the ongoing closure and restrictions imposed in 2007 and the destructions during the three wars in Gaza, the private sector remains resilient, especially when meeting local needs for construction, agriculture, trade, services and such like. Only a few solitary export-oriented businesses have managed to demonstrate their regional competitiveness.

SAWA takes into account the complex problems which the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) face in Gaza. It will use a multi-level approach to strengthen the self-help potential and competitiveness of the Palestinian community and private sector; including Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), private companies and their associations.

SAWA will develop a “two-pronged approach”: enhance livelihood of the vulnerable youth and women in marginalized and underserved localities, on one hand, and support growth in facilitating the emergence of new economic opportunities in green and circular economy, on the other hand.

Under Enabel’s direct supervision, coordination and follow-up, SAWA will delegate implementation responsibility to selected Civil Society Organizations and Private Sector Umbrella Organizations (PSUOs) as important partners in the Community-Based Business Support approach.

The community-based Business Development approach is about creating local collaboration among the different stakeholders in the community, so that the community will multiply and scale up its fragmented resources. It is particularly well suited for use among poor, vulnerable and marginalized communities where funding and capacities are limited or in communities that are hard to reach due to social or geographical isolation.

Two types of beneficiary groups will benefit from SAWA interventions:

Direct Beneficiaries:

  • 150 unemployed Palestinian youth (male and female) and women with the desire to become self-employed and/or start their own business.
  • 40 young unemployed youth (male and female) who have innovative and creative mind-sets and looking for starting their own micro businesses.
  • (2) Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and (1) Private Sector Umbrella Organisations (PSUOs).

Indirect Beneficiaries:
  • Community-Based Organizations (CBOs)
  • Industrial Sector Associations members of the Palestinian Federation of Industries (PFI)

To enhance support structures for MSMEs, SAWA will be contributing to capacity development within the local community. It concentrates on initiatives with short-term impacts as the unstable political situation makes medium or long-term planning very uncertain.

SAWA intervention would have two intermediate outcomes:

1) Empowered vulnerable women and youth for establishing sustainable and resilient micro businesses This is related to supporting the resilience of unemployed persons to create their own business. It will support the establishment of viable and economically sound microbusinesses for women, women groups and youth (male and female), through,
i. Support livelihood: improve the resilience of vulnerable youth (men and women) livelihood through creating sustainable microbusinesses. Livestock, services and commerce are potential sectors.
ii. Support social economy: improve the resilience for existing women owned cooperatives to improve their business. Type of supports may include marketing and access to market activities, product development and packaging.

2) Empowered youth for initiating sustainable and innovative green/circular economy initiatives. This is about transforming problems in the industrial sector into a (green) business opportunity through supporting innovative business ideas that serves the local industrial sector and the environment are facing.

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