Palestinian businesswomen to showcase textiles, meet buyers in United Arab Emirates, Russian Federation

14 April 2016
ITC News
ITC arranges Palestinian women entrepreneurs’ participation in trade fairs and business-to-business meetings at the International Textile Fair in Abu Dhabi and during Caspian Fashion Week.

Palestinian businesswomen showcase textiles and jewellery at the United Arab Emirates’ International Textile Fair and during Caspian Fashion Week

Four Palestinian entrepreneurs are set to take their new textile and jewellery collections to international fairs in the United Arab Emirates and the Russian Federation as part of ongoing efforts by the International Trade Centre (ITC) to help women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) tap new markets.

The businesswomen from Bethlehem and Ramallah will showcase their products at the International Textile Fair in Abu Dhabi alongside exhibitors from Europe, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Turkey. Aida Zarouk will present traditional Palestinian embroidery, Heidi Hannouneh will display traditional textiles and modern jewellery, and Naima Zeyad will showcase luxury home textiles.

ITC will also arrange business-to-business (B2B) meetings for the entrepreneurs with buyers in the United Arab Emirates following the fair, which will be held on 16-17 April.

The following week, entrepreneur Nadya Hazbunova’s jewellery and clothing collection will be on display in the Russian Federation. ITC will also present samples from other Palestinian women entrepreneurs during Caspian Fashion Week, which takes place in Astrakhan on 21-24 April.

Linking with buyers

These four businesswomen are part of a group of 21 Palestinian SME owners who have received direct coaching and business training over the past two years under ITC’s Enhancing Women SMEs Development (EWED) project.

‘Trade fairs provide essential exposure to women-owned SMEs,’ said project manager Eman Beseiso. ‘An event such as Abu Dhabi’s International Textile Fair is crucial to creating business linkages with potential buyers.’

SMEs expand their trade contacts and connect to potential buyers in regional and international markets through events like these, Beseiso added. For example, at an exhibition in Ramallah, Zeyad’s Heritage Touch, which currently employs more than 40 women embroiderers, concluded 40,275 ILS (approximately US$ 10,300) in business deals. At the same annual event, Hannouneh concluded 1,000 ILS (US$ 260) in business deals, while Zarouk’s Bethlehem Hands did 3,000 ILS (US$ 780) in business.

Since 2014, ITC’s EWED project has facilitated a dozen training sessions on topics ranging from financial management, business strategy design and export quality management to negotiations skills and gender and business. Using the skills gained through these sessions, many of the women entrepreneurs can report increased sales and inroads into new markets. ITC also works with the women on improving product design and coaches them in producing new collections that are in line with international market requirements while at the same time upholding traditional artistry.

Funded under ITC’s Women and Trade programme and in partnership with the Business Women Forum in Ramallah, the project is designed to assist women-owned businesses become export ready, in particular by ensuring that the goods and services offered by Palestinian women entrepreneurs meet the requirements of buyers in local, regional and international markets. Complementing the project is the ‘Creating One-Stop Shop for Sustainable Business’ project funded by the Sustainable Development Goals Fund that aims to increase access of women-owned SMEs and cooperatives to local, regional and international markets.

Find more information about ITC’s work in the State of Palestine here: