Together we go further: A Story from Lebanon

5 julio 2022
ITC News

Several individuals combine a specific skill to progress towards a common goal: this African proverb illustrates the principle of the International Trade Centre’s work in Lebanon.  

The story of Aline Saade, an entrepreneur passionate about herbs, is a great example of how you can use your skills and turn them into a profitable business.

Since 2017, Aline sells a variety of sustainable herbal products through her brand Hachichit Albé, which translates to "the herb of my heart". The brand serves different homemade blends for the body and the home.  

Aline is one of the beneficiaries of the World Bank-funded e-commerce project implemented by the International Trade Centre's e-commerce team that helps women-led businesses in Lebanon sell online. 

At the time Aline applied for the project, she was working alone and felt overwhelmed by the tasks ahead of her as a businesswoman. She had encountered problems with the Facebook ads platform and had no social media strategy, especially since this was not her core business.

After one year of support through the programme, Aline says: “I have the feeling I have learned in one year what would have taken me three years at university."  

Aline improved the packaging of her products and learned how to highlight them with attractive photos that respect the codes of photography specific to online sales. "When I take my daily photos, I always remember the advice of the consultant. They are so valuable to me,” says Aline.

Thanks to the many training sessions and manuals, her e-commerce store has considerably improved: her products offer a coherent and relevant customer journey to the clients, comparable to being in a physical store.  

Aline is now able to manage the Facebook ads platform and uses Facebook for business. With good traffic website, she is happy to receive positive feedback from the clients. Moreover, the training allowed Aline to make the right choices by recruiting qualified people in areas that she did not master, particularly digital communication, but also an operational director who now handles a large part of the tasks that Aline had previously assumed alone.

“The programme has not only empowered me to develop my small business, but it has also indirectly empowered each member of my team to carry out this mission together.”

Aline’s company is a good example of evolution, showing concrete results thanks to collective involvement. The brand is about to introduce new products, develop a commercial strategy and make improvements in after-sales services, exchange, and refund policies.  

"I feel very fortunate. I can say with pride and sincerity that the backbone of Hachichit Albé's progress has been strengthened and fueled by the ITC-World Bank programme, at a time when Lebanese businesses needed the support the most.”

About the project

The ITC-World Bank We-Fi project in Lebanon is part of a regional project that gives women-led small businesses access to markets through e-commerce platforms and improves their e-commerce related business environment and infrastructure. The project’s participants are now connected to local and international e-commerce platforms and receive practical advisory support.