Created in 2008, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women (CBFW) helps women around the world overcome socio-economic challenges and empower them to play an important role in their local economies and societies.
The ultimate purpose of the programme is to train and coach women entrepreneurs to build profitable, sustainable businesses which are market-oriented, scalable and which facilitate job creation.
In the Palestinian Territories of Ramallah, Bethlehem and Hebron, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women is working in partnership with the Near East Foundation to enable female entrepreneurs to grow profitable, sustainable, scalable businesses and create new jobs. Women in the Middle East face enormous social, legal and religious restrictions that hinder their ability to find employment outside of the home or create their own business ventures. Women’s participation in the labour force has been below 16 % in the last decade, and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women seeks to turn this number around. The contribution of the Trafigura Foundation has enabled the women to undergo intensive business training and receive one-on-one advice in sectors such as trade, production, embroidery and hand-made crafts.
To date, the Advancing Palestinian Women Entrepreneurs project has reached 217 women, 97 new jobs were created and 85 women entrepreneurs have accessed financial services, including grants and bank loans, to develop their products and services, enabling them to grow their businesses.
“The incredible women in this project have achieved success not just for themselves, but for others in their communities. Empowering women to realise their full potential is crucial to creating change in our societies and economies,” said Sofia Olsson, Enterprise Development Programme Manager at the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.