Woman Entrepreneur in Tafileh Employs Family and Peers
Though Yusra Al-Nawaiseh (Um Ammar) started her official dairy production business in 2015 using the grant she received from the project “Promoting Local Economic Development in Jordan” (PLEDJ) which is funded by the European Delegation to Jordan, her ambitions started much earlier than that.
“I am dreaming of turning this simple business into a big dairy factory. One day, I will have my dairy products everywhere in Jordan”
An Entrepreneur at Heart
Yusra used to make milk products like yogurt and cheese to satisfy her family needs. Back then, she was working as a nurse in a governmental health center that is based in the city of Tafileh. She used to take care of her family’s goats before going to work, and starts the dairy production after she gets home from work every day.
“My colleagues liked the good quality of the products I was making, so I started to sell them customized dairy products that satisfies their personal taste”, Yusra explains.
After retirement, she dedicated more time to work on her own business. For years, she was able to produce up to 60–70 kg of dairy per day. Still, the production was limited due to the restricted resources she had.
The turning point for Yusra’s business, was when she heard about an announcement from PLEDJ in Tafileh’s main governorate building. Confident in her capabilities, she knew she could win the grant provided by the EU and so she did not hesitate to apply. She followed the application process and worked hard on writing her project’s proposal and feasibility study. After a while, the good news came along: she was accepted.
In line with the PLEDJ requirements and direction, Yusra registered her business officially. After that, she joined the business training provided by PLEDJ for all the accepted candidates.
“The training included putting business plans and working on financial budgets. Soft skills and marketing tips were essential as well. We also received a professional training in food processing techniques”, says Yusra about the training sessions.
Benefiting Family and Community
Most of dairy producers in the governorates rely on the local providers, and so does Yusra who gets her milk from suppliers in Tafileh.
“I work with 15 milk farmers in our area to give me the daily supply I need. I also deal with some families who own a few goats. Helping them financially is very important to me”. She adds: “My business demands require an increase in the supply of cow milk which is why farmers in our area are now raising more animals, hoping to meet this demand and consequently make more money out of it”.
Yusra now produces from 300 kg to half a ton of dairy in a season. A big leap made possible with the help of EU’s fund and training.
Yusra is using Facebook to market her products besides having a small shop in Tafileh’s main market where her formerly unemployed husband and son lend a helping hand in sales and delivery of products to customers.
Yusra’s daughters and daughter in law also help with marketing and production and get paid for it. During peak seasons, she hires 2–3 women from her neighbors to help her too.
Daring to Dream
Feeling proud of herself and her family, Yusra describes her improved financial situation by saying “I sold our old mini bus and bought a new one for my son to deliver products. If I didn’t get the fund from the EU to accelerate my business, I couldn’t have afforded a monthly installment on anything”.
“I am dreaming of turning this simple business into a big dairy factory. One day, I will have my dairy products everywhere in Jordan”. She concludes with a big smile.
It is worthy of mention that the program “Promoting Local Economic Development in Jordan” (PLEDJ) is funded by the European Union, managed by the Ministry of Interior and implemented by UNDP. It aims at fostering two sectors in the governorates of Ajloun and Tafileh: Small-Scale Food Processing and Tourism Services.