Twenty Jordanian female entrepreneurs and businesswomen will begin a two week programme at Thunderbird, in Arizona, next week. The programme is funded through a $1.6m grant from the US Agency for International Development to the Business Development Center in Jordan, secured in 2008.
The programme has been designed to give women intensive teaching and mentoring as well as access to the kind of resources that will enable them to start a business back home. Half the women have businesses in start-up phase; the other half are already successful businesswomen looking for ways to build their companies. The women work in industries as diverse as handicrafts, publishing, consulting, construction, security systems and consumer products.
The Seeds programme - Seeds stands for Supporting Entrepreneurs and Enterprise Development Seminar - is modelled on Thunderbird’s Project Artemis Afghanistan, which provides women with similar levels of training and support to enable them to start or grow small businesses in Afghanistan.