Nour Al Momani
Just one year ago, 47-year old Nour Al Momani was working as an unpaid volunteer in the Irbid municipality. She and her family were living on her husband’s marginal salary, barely making ends meet.
When Nour heard about a business management training program being provided by the CBBDS Unit’s Village Business Incubator (VBI), she saw the opportunity to participate as a practical solution to increase her income. It was also a chance to realize her longstanding dream of establishing her own business.
The program equipped Nour with the skills she needed to start and sustain her own business. Through several workshops and home visits, the CBBDS Unit's staff assisted her in conducting a feasibility study and a market needs assessment. After taking out a JD3,000 loan, and investing JD1,400 of her own savings, Nour rented a flat in the Irbid village in which she lives and opened the first women’s gym in the area.
Complete with exercise machines and even a sauna, and offering daily aerobics classes, Nour’s gym opened just three months after her initial meeting with the VBI. With no similar resources in the area, women quickly started to visit the gym and more enrolled in classes after Nour’s reputation spread by word of mouth. Nour says that women of all ages - between 10 and 55 - regularly attend the highly popular aerobics classes. Several hundred women attend classes at Nour’s gym every month, which has allowed Nour to start repaying her loan after only six months.
When the gym opened, eager to hear her clients’ opinions, Nour conducted an anonymous survey. The great majority of the participants rated her business as “excellent,” and she continues to receive positive feedback.
Nour’s vision to enhance social life among the women in the community has become a reality; she has managed to increase the focus on women's well-being in an area where women’s health issues often are neglected.
She has also created employment for herself, her daughter and her husband. She and her husband are considering buying a property to house a second gym. In the future, Nour plans to expand her business and open up more branches in nearby villages.
Friel Jallad is recently widowed, unemployed and looking after three young children alone. Despite the difficulty of her situation, Friel has started to attend entrepreneur training workshops with the CBBDS Unit.
Eventually, Friel wants to open up a retail business, but for now she says that just attending the training has given her strength, inspiration and trust in herself. Through discussions with other women at the workshops, instead of obstacles she now sees possibilities of how she can start a business to help make a living for her family.
Friel has realized that the techniques needed to run a business are useful when running a household economy, resulting in creative ways of being more cost effective. The training she has received has not only resulted in a little extra pocket money for her children, but Friel has also built her confidence and is working towards a prosperous future.