‘The most significant benefit for me was the rise in my self-esteem that came as a result of the encouragement and assistance I received throughout the training and the mentorship program’’ explained Leqa’a, a 36-year-old Syrian refugee mother of two children.
Leqa’a is one of thirty-two beneficiaries of the IOM-led economic empowerment and resilience programme for refugees who lost their income due to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, to regain employment or restart and strengthen the competitiveness and adaptability of their micro or home-based businesses. Interventions aimed to strengthen the income-generating capacity of targeted refugees and their economic resilience to future shocks and market disruptions, through vocational training and grants for startups and small businesses.
‘’We migrated to Jordan in 2012 due to the Syrian crisis, I had this habit of recycling old fabrics and clothes, and I had the ambition to learn more and grow my hobby in order to make a profit” said Leqa’a.
Creating livelihood solutions significantly impacts society. Communities’ socio-cultural and socio-economic structures experience severe challenges when people cannot count on a regular source of income due to the widespread impact of unemployment.
The project was designed to decrease the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on refugees and their businesses, while also complementing the short-term and sporadic assistance they received, enabling them to generate income in the longer term.
"I used to work with some ancient sewing machines, but I had to shut down my business due to the COVID-19 lockdown, it was no longer profitable. The cash grant that I was given enabled me to restart my business. As I restored a room in my home and turned it into my workstation. I also invested in a new piece of equipment that allows me to produce goods faster and of higher quality’’ Leqa’a explained.
IOM provided a grant worth USD 2,000 on average, for beneficiaries to restart or grow their business, based on the viability of their business plan, and their capacity to implement it. Tailored to their needs, they received skills training and build their understanding of business management and marketing. They also received consumption support monthly cash assistance to cover their basic needs while working on their business development.
In addition to the monthly consumption support and the cash grant, Leqa’a participated in tailoring vocational training as per her mentor’s recommendations Sahar. She encouraged and guided Leqa’a to restart and grow her business.
‘’The mentoring had a great role in encouraging and guiding me to follow the business plan, in addition to the monthly assistance for basic needs I received which helped me not to misuse the business cash grants and business profits to cover by household needs’’ Leqa’a added.
All project beneficiaries benefited equally from the business development skills training and other vocational training based on their mentors’ recommendations. Leqa’a believes she has learnt important skills about business management that will serve her well to maintain be business. These skills include calculating profits, pricing of goods and services, in addition to business marketing.
Jordan and the region have been facing an unprecedented economic crisis after the COVID-19 pandemic. With the generous support of the Government of Kuwait, IOM Jordan economically empowered 32 Syrian refugees in North Jordan and East Amman.