December 14, 2015

Entrepreneurship for stability: the Economic Empowerment of Yemeni women

Since conflict broke out in Yemen, conditions in the country have dramatically worsened, yet despite the dangerous security situation, SPARK continues to tackle high poverty and unemployment rates among marginalized groups in Yemen.

On the 15th of November SPARK Yemen, with local partner Vision for Development, held awareness raising workshops in the Taiz governorate of Yemen to promote a new programme it is implementing for the UNDP and the Government of Japan; the Women Economic and Empowerment programme. This programme aims to develop Yemen’s dairy value chain by training and funding 500 women from rural areas of Taiz to begin their own microenterprises. In doing so SPARK aspires to stimulate local economic activity and create livelihoods for some of Yemen’s most vulnerable people.

Through such projects SPARK provides women with increased opportunities to access new labour markets, supporting them through grant capital so they can purchase livestock and provide dairy processing equipment and startup of their own microenterprises. Beyond the basic physical industry requirements, the project will support women entrepreneurs capitalize on niche markets in the dairy section in Taiz by providing technical skills and trainings necessary for ensuring sustainable productivity and promote social businesses.

Yemen Women Economic and Empowerment programme

 The long term objective of this project is to empower women through enhanced economic capacities and strengthen the resilience of conflict-affected communities in Yemen. In supporting the development of a private sector with community social impact, SPARK hopes to address some of the root causes of poverty in the region. By increasing employment opportunities for women this will benefit their lives whilst strengthening the local economy, improving community’s resilience and creating conditions which facilitate peace and stability in Yemen.

The recent project awareness raising sessions SPARK held in Taiz sought to identify 500 women who would be the key beneficiaries in the dairy value chain. These women are to receive market oriented technical, entrepreneurial, and managerial skill trainings which will improve their access to resources and sustainable employment. SPARK and local partners work with the women to develop business plans specifically tailored to fill gaps in the current dairy value chain. By developing the value chain this project contributes to food security, reduces unemployment and poverty whilst redressing gender inequality in the labour market through the socio-economic empowerment of women.

UNDP chose SPARK as the implementing partner of this project due to its experience implementing agri-business creation projects in Yemen. To learn more about SPARK’s Agri-Business Creation project, click here.