Come Meet Some of Economic Empowerment for Women's Success stories
Since its establishment, EEW has served over 5,000 women from underprivileged populations in Israel.
Among these are women who are ultraorthodox, Arab, new immigrants, single mothers, and women over 45.
We have run our programs in over 85 locations, and played an active role in establishing and growing over 1,800 small businesses.
Make sure you scroll down and read about some of our graduates
Mini Market Owner
Beauty Salon Owner
Stained Glass Artist and Studio Owner
Clothing Store Owner
Yoga Teacher and Puppeteer
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.
Business: Otzman Nashit = Female strength
Location: Kibbutz Ein Hamifratz
Graduation date: 2014
Narkis Tal, married with 2 children, lost both parents to cancer at a young age. As a result, she became interested in health and exercise became an important part of her life; she began dreaming of a gym for women only. When asked why she wants it to be women only, she says women deserve a place where they can wear whatever they want, sweat, and feel comfortable. To realize her dream she started studying exercise instruction. Upon completion of her studies she joined EEW’s program in the western Galilee for business training. With help from the program facilitator she made a business plan and began marketing the gym as a welcoming, homey, and supportive place for women. It is designed like a boutique and emphasizes the uniqueness of women. She now successfully runs "Female strength" (Otzma Nashit). Narkis says that the program was an opportunity for women in the area to learn not only from the facilitator but also from each other. The participants share their challenges and experience and this is very helpful. She has made a connection with a women who paints nails and a masseuse from the program and they are in the process of combining forces for a joint business. Narkis continues to receive guidance and tools for running and developing her business in the incubator program. She has started making a profit and is proud to be fulfilling her dream of assisting women with illnesses and injuries to live healthier lives.
Business: Bridal and Event Gowns
Graduation date: 2014
Ada, age 46, a married mother of three, grew up helping her mother with sewing and as a result developed an interest in the field. In high school she studied fashion, and graduated with honors. After her marriage she worked at a day job and did sewing jobs in the afternoon and evening. As a volunteer in the community Ada was exposed to empowerment programs for women via the women's council in Bat Yam. When EEW opened it's first A Business of One's Own program in the city (2007) Ada's friends encouraged her to register.
The high cost of living pushed Ada to try and improve her family's financial situation. She always dreamed of owning a business in which she could express her talent and creativity. She felt like the program was her opportunity to do so. Participating in the program changed Ada's outlook on life. The empowerment sessions helped her realize her personal strengths and use them to advance herself. The program provided her with the tools and information needed to begin her business. Her desire to open a store in a prestigious location grew. The facilitators of the program accompanied and encouraged her, and her entire family assisted in realizing her dream. Ada took out loans, invested in design and equipment for her studio and opened her bridal dress studio in The Jaffa Court. Her moto is "The universe is the limit, not only the sky."
Five years later, her business is thriving, hoping to expand into international markets. According to Ada, the business training, support, and patience of the facilitators, are the basis for the huge change and success in her life. "Since I was child I dreamed of opening a creative business. EEW made this dream a reality."
Business: Salon Joanne
Graduation date: 2013
Ula Azam, age 37, married and with two kids, is from the town of Iblin. At 16 she began working as a secretary in a doctor's office to help support her family. She married young and her husband did not always support her independence. However, the doctor she had worked for saw her talent for doing hair and helped her to enroll in a professional course for it. While studying, she tried to realize her dream of having a hair salon, with the help of a loan, but it did not work.
She did not have the skills and knowledge necessary for running a business. In 2013 she was referred to EEW's business of one's own program and enrolled. Unfortunately, during the course Ula was in a car accident which left her bed ridden for several months. She didn’t give up, though. When EEW’s incubator program in Galilee opened, she was excited to pick up where she left off. She built a business plan and clarified her vision to for a hair salon with expertise in braiding and up do’s (not specifically for brides, which is what makes it unique). Under guidance of the facilitators she began a waxing course. When the professional school saw her work, they invited her to teach a class on braiding hair. The facilitators of the program helped her create a price list and her demand has risen drastically, and so has her income. She now makes a nice monthly income and has quadrupled what she made less than a year ago,. Ula says that thanks to what she is learning in the program, she has finally boosted her business and her belief in herself, her husband and parents now support her and are proud of her and her family income has improved.
Business: The Taste of Paradise
Graduation date: 2014
Amsal came to Israel from Ethiopia at the age of 12. She is 36, divorced, and a mother of two. Amsal is a translator and mediator at an organization which helps Ethiopian parents adjust to Israeli society. She joined a business of one’s own without a specific business idea but with hopes of increasing her income. When facilitators and women in her group tasted her baked goods the idea for The Taste of Paradise was born. Now she successfully sells baked goods made from teff (a gluten free flour common in Ethiopia) in various locations in and around Lod and leads workshops training others on gluten free baking. She has increased her income by 30%. Amsal says the program “turned on a light” for her. She learned to earn money from something she loves. She plans to open a restaurant and a catering business and also organize cultural meetings for the Ethiopian community. She hopes to be well known around the country and the world for her healthy Ethiopian style cooking because in her own words, with the help of the program she now “believes in herself, wants to develop her abilities and is not afraid to dream.”
Business: Sweet Experiences
Location: Beit Shemesh
Graduation date: 2010
Oshrat, 34, divorced, and a mother of 2, was working as a cook in a restaurant when she heard about A Business of One’s Own. Her current job, difficult, demanding and unrewarding, made her realize she needed to make a change. She wanted to do something that would fulfill her, enable her to take care of her children (financially and emotionally), and allow her some autonomy. Through the program she received tools and guidance for initial setup and then, when her business was just taking off, she joined the Beit Shemesh incubator, brining her business to the next level. Now she successfully operates Sweet Experiences, where she runs cooking workshops, organizes birthday parties and events, and sells cakes and baked goods.
Oshrat describes the change in her life thanks to the program as “total.” Aside from just the financial benefit, Oshrat is now well known in her community. She runs a Facebook page called “The Mama’s of Beit Shemesh” which serves as a platform for 3000 women to business network and assist people in need. Oshrat represented EEW at a conference for female entrepreneurs put on by the Cherie Blair foundation (who supported the Beit Shemesh incubator) in New York in 2014. She described the experience as not only educational but also incredibly empowering.
Business: Maga Hakesem HaAnushi=The Miraculous Human Touch
Location: Ramat Gan
Graduation date: 2009
Ricki Bitner always felt a strong pull towards the profession of movement therapy and massage, but didn't feel she could pull it off. She said she "leaned on crutches," with part time jobs and low wages. As one of many single mothers in Ramat Gan, she is acutely aware of the need for economic empowerment of women, "The existing economic situation is a binding reality - for a single woman without an academic background who works as a wage earner, there is no changing the fact that she will barely be able to finish the month, and sometimes even her most minimal needs cannot be met in that time. In the exploitation of the weak market, we have no choice but to take care of ourselves, and we resort to sources of income that give us no respect or dignity for our existence."
Ricki decided make a change. Enrolling in Business of One's Own gave her not only the practical tools for business development but also changed her on a more personal level: “Mainly, I learned not to be afraid. People live and earn their living with dignity when they have a profession that they love. It's easy to persist when they have a long-term goal."
Ricki is now the successful owner of Maga HaKesem HaAnushi, which translated, means "The Miraculous Human Touch." She teaches touch and movement therapy, as well as Shiatsu, Feldenkrais, and rehabilitative massage. The lessons of self-confidence that she gained in starting her own business are also embodied in the lessons she gives her students. She said, "I teach group and private classes in the therapeutic method of movement: awareness through movement, improving self image, and relieving stress through awareness. This is a method that was found to be more effective in preservation and improvement - to help people cope with the pains of day to day life. This is preventive medicine at its best." Ricki's love of this profession comes from the knowledge that it can improve the quality of hers and others' lives, which can in itself help in the development of a whole new perspective and attitude.
Ricki says she has a long road ahead but is excited about the direction her business is taking: “The true improvement lies in the fact that I've done this much for myself, and I can now see the horizon ahead of me."
Business: Od Tipa=Another Drop
Graduation date: 2014
Hadar, married and a mother of three, studied hydrotherapy as a way of combining her
love of water with a desire to help people. Living in Shtula, a moshav near the Lebanese border, she had just begun developing her business when she joined the Business of One’s Own program in the western Galilee near Nahariaya. The program gave her both necessary professional tools and a chance to meet and dialogue with other women who were also at the beginning stages of business development. She says, “In the course, I learned to identify the strengths within myself and use them. I learned how to conduct myself, how to charge fairly for my services, how to form cooperation, how to speak in front of an audience and many other things I will use in the future.” Hadar opened a therapeutic pool called Another Drop in Shtula with a bed and breakfast alongside it. She offers hydrotherapy for adults, children, babies, pregnant women, and anyone looking to strengthen the body and spirit. With the addition of the B&B, her business has expanded beyond what she originally even imagined.
Business: Gan Nemashim
Location: Rishon Lezion
Graduation date: 2008
Nirit Ofer, single parent and sole breadwinner, first connected to EEW through the welfare office in Rishon Le'tsion. She wanted to join the program because, "I wanted to be independent...I had worked in this field for years as an employee and wanted to be my own boss."
Before opening her preschool she faced many financial challenges, "I could never make ends meet. I was dependent on welfare and sources of income like pensions." The program gave her tools on how to price her services, how to operate the business, and how to publicize her work to families. She credits EEW and the loan given to her as having, "empowered me economically and personally," changing her life. She says, “it gave me the confidence and security to start a business. I got the tools and guidance when I needed advice. [Otherwise,] I had nowhere to go and consult. Without EEW, I would not be where I am today."
She maintains that owning a business is important for women because it enables them to be independent and frees them from depending on the state, much less anyone else. "Today, I do not depend on anyone and even I pay salaries to other women who work for me."
Business: Mila Achrona
Location: B'nei Brak
Graduation date: 2008
Yemima Bismuth, a mother of seven, previously secular but now religious, studied visual communication at the Institute of Technology and previously worked as a graphic artist. Upon becoming religious, having her first two children, and then getting divorced she was bound to her house, “I survived on welfare payments and suffered from a lack of income.” She had an old computer, though, and after seeing an advertisement for an editor began slowly to make some money after the kids were sleeping, “This was my first step away from feeling ‘fate stricken.’ As a women surviving on welfare, you are constantly weakened until you don't know how to return to life.”
She was determined to make a change, though. "Since I was a single mother for seven years on welfare, the employment office constantly offered me jobs cleaning bathrooms and kitchens in the hospital. Just then, Economic Empowerment for Women opened a Business of One's Own training program in B'nei Brak and the social worker explained to me that if I join this program, I will be saved the destiny of cleaning bathrooms. Of course I joined the program and I learned how to be a successful business woman! During the course, I also gained the strength and courage to take another step and I registered my business legally with the Income Tax Authority. In order to overcome my fear of the authorities, I asked a fellow student in the course to come with me to hold my hand. With her help, I became a formally registered business and from there, my business took off with new clients and business offers."
Her business, "Mila Achrona (Last Word)" , an internet site that provides market writing and editing services is flourishing. She was able to maintain her values and commitment to family whilst still succeeding, “Today, I set limits to my business and try to work 4 hours every day. It is so easy to get swept up with work which in my opinion is not the most important thing in life. However, I do want to expand the services that I offer and also to start teaching the trade so that other women will also be able to earn a respectable living from this business."
Business: Pizzeria and Mini Market
Location: Abu Gosh
Graduation date: 2013
Raised in the West Bank, Runda married a man from Ein Nakuba and now lives there with her husband and their 3 children. Unemployed, she joined the Business of One’s Own program in Abu Gosh, in hopes of turning her talent for arts and crafts into a source of income. While attending the program, her father-in-law suddenly passed away, leaving her and husband with a struggling grocery store and failing pizzeria. Although they had no prior experience, combining the knowledge and tools Runda was developing in the program (and later in the business incubator) and a sense of determination, they seized the opportunity. Closing the pizzeria and focusing all energy on the grocery store, Runda took over the management (successfully installing an accounting and stock system) and her husband tended to the physical operation of the business. As time passed the store became profitable. Building on that success, they re-opened the pizzeria, bought some new equipment and repositioned it as a specialty eatery. Today, both businesses are profitable, enabling the family to enjoy a standard of living they never expected to reach.
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.
How to Support us
Most of our activity is made possible by the kind support of foundations, businesses and private donations from Israel and abroad.
We invite you to join our donors and help support women in Israel on their way to economic independence.