Economic Empowerment for Women
Economic Empowerment for Women (EEW) is a non-profit organization in Israel dedicated to improving women’s lives through economic empowerment.
Our mission is to supply low-income women in Israel with the knowledge and tools to create and grow their own small businesses as a means for gaining self-sufficiency and alleviating the cycle of poverty in which they live.
EEW was founded in 2000 by feminist activists in Haifa. Over the years, EEW has developed innovative and ground-breaking programs that were studied and researched by government and academic organizations. These programs have inspired many in the field of economic empowerment and business entrepreneurship. All of EEW's programs are based on a feminist approach and personal empowerment processes designed to fit our diverse population of women, and result in emotional welfare enabling economic growth. These programs are run in collaboration with government institutions, local authorities and social organizations throughout the country.
EEW assists women in opening their own small businesses using a strategy originated in Bangladesh by Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank. The Micro-Enterprise strategy enables women to become self-sufficient through self-employment. This is often not out of a desire to run a business, but rather out of necessity. EEW adopted this strategy because many low income women do not have the education or skills required by the labor market, nor does the labor market offer many options for their stable, long-term employment. With micro-enterprise, women can use their skills and assets in building a business of their choice--at the same time allowing them flexibility to manage the complex demands of their lives.
Our Target Population
EEW has served over 5,000 women from underprivileged populations in Israel, most from the geographic and social periphery, including ultraorthodox, Arabs, new immigrants, single parents, and women over 45.
EEW Activities have taken place in over 85 locations, and EEW has played an active role in the establishment and growth of over 1,800 small businesses in a variety of fields.
Our Programs and Activities
A Business of One's Own
EEW's flagship program, considered a pioneer in the fields of entrepreneurship, economic development, and business training in Israel, is a yearlong program in which participants receive practical business skills and undergo a process of personal empowerment The program is based on the strategy of micro entrepreneurship as a way of fighting poverty, developed by 2006 Nobel peace prize winner Dr. Muhammad Yunus. It was adopted by the national insurance institute and researched by Dr. Amalia Saar and others.
Business Development Services
Long term support is crucial for the success of small businesses. EEW has developed a variety of services for accompaniment after the initial training process is completed. These services are aimed at helping entrepreneurs at the beginning stages of their business and connecting them to local and national business networks; services include seminars, workshops, conferences and computer and social media skills training sessions.
Savings For the Future
As a program designed for advancing financial orientation and planned savings, participants are given instruction on pension savings, are taught how to deal with financial institutions (banks, insurance agencies etc.), and are encouraged to adopt consumption and saving behavior that will ensure their financial future is secure.
Small loans are also provided for program participants’ businesses.
Participating in Supportive Policy Making
EEW is part of a coalition of women's organizations in Israel called "Shutafot-Partners" that works to influence public policy that promotes a just economy and employment policy for Israeli women. EEW works with other NGO's in Israel and throughout the world and is assisted by experts and the observance of other strategies being developed in various communities. External and internal academic research has followed EEW for many years in order to evaluate our achievements and difficulties.
To bring about economic change for women in Israel through a multi-level approach including: small business development, a broadening of public policy, and the development of need-specific programs for diverse populations. EEW is a feminist organization committed to assisting women from disadvantaged sectors of society.
Programs and Services
A Business of One's Own
A Business of One's Own: EEW's flagship program has pioneered the field of entrepreneurship, economic empowerment and business training in Israel. A Business of One's Own is a yearlong program in which the participants, mostly from the geographic and social periphery, receive business training, and undergo a process of personal empowerment.
Business Support Services
Business Development Services are provided over five years to grow existing businesses and increase the personal income earned from them. They include advanced business training and industry related seminars; Business Incubation; Business marathons; computer trainings; regional business forums; financial orientation and business coaching, both one-on-one and in small group.
EEW is located in Haifa and runs programs throughout the country. These programs are run in cooperation with local municipalities, government agencies, NGO's and foundations that provide loans to small businesses and work in the field of economic empowerment and women. These partnerships are very valuable to EEW and enable us to reach hundreds of women every year and help them begin businesses of their own.