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The SMART Project’s efforts in women’s economic empowerment have yielded a tangible impact.

Investing in Women

through the Small and Medium Enterprise Assistance for Recovery and Transition (SMART) Project

After over two years of investing in women of the Palestinian private sector, the SMART Project has yielded tangible impact. Gender equality and women’s empowerment is integral to SMART’s goals of achieving recovery, revitalization, and resilience of the Palestinian economy. The Project identifies and maximizes the strengths of female entrepreneurs and business leaders. SMART creates opportunity for employment and skill-building for Palestinian women as they strive to secure livelihoods during a period of increased economic hardship.

Over the past two years, SMART has:

  • Provided firm level assistance to 94 women owned/managed MSMEs (32% of client firms)
  • Created jobs for 109 women (24% of jobs created)
  • Trained 85 female employees (19% of employees trained)

Despite the economic upheaval in 2024, SMART has recently launched Growth Plans with a new cohort of 19 women-owned/managed client firms in the West Bank. As a part of a $1,000,000 assistance program designed specifically for Women’s Economic Empowerment, these Growth Plans invest in individual MSMEs, start-ups, and the organizations that support them, and are designed to maximize women’s participation in the private sector in terms of job creation, access to finance, and strategic market development.

On a systemic level, SMART is providing institutional capacity building to Business Women Forum (BWF), a local private sector institution that promotes the leadership of women in the private sector. BWF leveraged SMART’s expertise in policy reform to establish an internal Policy Unit, putting forward policy papers addressing topics such as “Obstacles in Registration of Women-owned Businesses.”

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