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BWF/Palestine awards the winners of the 2015 Business Plan Competition “Entrepreneur of the Year 2015”

Business Women Forum Palestine, and in partnership with the Bank of Palestine and Spark, awarded the winners of the 2015 Business Plan Competition, Entrepreneur of the year 2015” in a ceremony held at Leaders Hall in Ramallah with a large attendance of female entrepreneurs, from all over the West Bank and from the Gaza Strip via video conference.

In her opening speech, Chairwoman of BWF’s Board of Directors, Ms. Maha Abu Shousheh, welcomed the attendance and thanked Bank of Palestine for its continuous support of female entrepreneurs. She stressed the importance of promoting entrepreneurial and described the role BWF plays in this regard in addition to the services the Business Development Center, the technical arm of BWF, provides in supporting female entrepreneurs and developing their projects and businesses to economically empower them.

Ms. Abu Shousheh added also that despite the various obstacles, we are still witnessing success stories that serve as a catalyst for all female entrepreneurs to realize their dreams and sharing their success stories with everyone has a significant impact on stimulating and propagate the spirit of initiative among us.

 

On his part, Mr. Hashim Al-Shawa, Bank of Palestine’s Chairman of the Board and General Manager, expressed his pride of the partnership with BWF and considered empowering women and supporting female entrepreneurs and businesswomen will be positively reflected on the Palestinian family, the economy, and society as a whole.  The Bank believes that the development of investment opportunities and promotion of economic growth are enhanced by stimulating women and allowing them to engage in the labor market. Mr. Al-Shawa said also that the Bank is working internally to enable and support the Palestinian women as we seek to ensure equality in rights and job duties within the Bank and provide a comfortable and convenient working environment for female employees and working mothers to increase their ratio to 50% not to mention increasing the number of women in senior management and decision-making positions.

Al-Shawa said that the Bank perceives the social responsibility untraditionally where such initiative reinforced the evolution of our culture and national identity; entrenching afterwards the march of ongoing giving and proving the development of the concept of social responsibility in Palestine by the Bank that is stemming from its vision of the overall development of human as well as all other sectors and components of the home country. The Bank allocates 5% of its annual net profits to support the social responsibility activities and projects by contributing to the development and support of several areas that concentrate on the sectors of education, youth and creativity, sports, health, environment, and culture and art.

On the other hand, BWF’s Executive Director, Ms. Doa Wadi, touched on the Business Plan Competition "Entrepreneur of the year 2015" expressing her pride of having the Bank of Palestine on board this partnership, which gave the program a quantum leap in addition to providing such purposeful programs as such for the first time in Gaza Strip by BWF.

This program, in partnership with the Bank of Palestine, provided training for 140 female trainees on the importance of Business Plan preparation to reach a comprehensive business plan.  The program targeted female entrepreneurs and businesswomen from the West Bank and Gaza Strip and was conducted by experts and advisers in addition to more than 38 individual counseling sessions.  23 projects were qualified to be presented before a jury panel composed of a group of experts to choose the best five winners.

At the end of the ceremony, Ms. Doa Wadi announced the winners where two women from the Gaza Strip came out from the top five.  Also Balata Refugee Camp, Bethlehem, Beit Sahour, and Hebron had their shares in this victory.  The sector diversified between a simple electric elevator for the people with special needs (Nadia Al-Rayyes and Rawan Temraz – Gaza), a device for measuring the oxygen deficiency in the vehicles (Ruba Al-Natsheh – Hebron), designing and engraving on the silver and accessory pieces (Fadwa Nayef – Gaza), preparing pharmaceutical formulas of Cosmetics and creams – Prima Vera (LeAnna Haddad and Nahed Abu Aitah – Bethlehem), and recycling of textiles – Aisha Design Pillow (Aisha Dwiekat – Nablus).

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