The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and The Portland Trust Visit FWEN at TYO

Nicola samples FWEN participant Nehaya’s homemade Palestinian cuisine

Martin Kaye, a trustee of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women (CBFW) and Nicola Cobbold, Managing Director of The Portland Trust visited the Fostering Women Entrepreneurs in Nablus (FWEN) project at TYO on Wednesday, November 24, 2010. Their visit came at the height of the project’s first phase as the women behind the ten leading business plans work diligently to advance their proposals and determine the support (financial, in-kind and supervisory) required for their successful development and implementation as pilot businesses.

The FWEN participants created booths displaying their business concepts and sample products to the visitors and received personalized feedback and suggestions. Several invited guests took the opportunity to purchase jars of specialty coffee from Rima and Afnan and clothing from H2 Fashion Design. The Portland Trust contracted Sahar to design a flyer for an upcoming event.

Mr. Kaye and Ms. Cobbold also met with the FWEN Steering Committee, comprised of leaders from diverse areas of the public and private sectors in the West Bank, who provide guidance and expertise within the context of the Nablus economy to the young businesswomen. Katie Highet, Client Outreach and Account Manager at long-time partner SoukTel, also joined the meeting. They shared a stimulating session on the possibilities and challenges of securing funding for the innovative business plans.

Mrs. Blair and Hani Masri, a Palestinian American businessman and founder of Tomorrow’s Youth Organization, launched the FWEN project as a 2009 Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action. The Small Enterprise Center (SEC) in Ramallah, the technical partner for this project, provides invaluable and ongoing training and mentoring support. At the 2010 CGI conference, TYO signed a new three-way CGI commitment with CBFW and SoukTel to offer FWEN participants and their mentors cutting-edge mobile technologies to launch and advance their businesses.

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