“My idea” competition makes youth dreams come true [Archives:2007/1059/Reportage]
Lina Al-Abdul is like many Yemeni women dream of being businesswomen and contributing to developing their country through their small, humble projects.
“My nose is the secret of my success,” she says because Al-Abdul discovered that she can easily distinguish between different perfume scents. Because she likes perfumes and flowers, she thought to create a new business of her own.
With a strong resolve to succeed, Al-Abdul manages a small business by producing and selling different types of perfumes and now, for the first time in Yemen, she is producing an aloe scent called “Al-Naed.”
With the support of the Social Fund for Development, the Small and Microenterprise Promotion Service is holding its first exhibition June 16-18 at the Sana'a Trade Center. It's a time for Yemeni youths to express their future business ideas via the exhibition, which aims to gather all of their ideas as step one in their projects.
“My idea” is a competition calling such youths with new business ideas to participate. The best idea will be rewarded with a real project for its creator.
The exhibition provides the various market fields with a new culture and style for new marketing methods for small and microenterprise projects. Additionally, many activities launched during the exhibition, such as cultural activities, have opened the way for seminars for marketing new programs in Yemen like the Business Edge program.
The Small and Microenterprise Promotion Service is one of 12 national agencies established in 2006 and supported by the Social Fund for Development. It offers both financial and non-financial services to small enterprises by providing clients and rehabilitation centers with training courses, as well as exposure visits to the service's branches in four Yemeni governorates.
Creating new links between small enterprise owners and businesspeople, supporting companies for such projects and bringing ideas for new business edges are some of the service's main activities.
“Every week, we bring new ideas for new projects, listing and discussing them. We then start locating clients and youths to begin their projects under our supervision and support,” the service's executive manager Weasam Qayied explained.
Due to lack of awareness and a culture that understands the importance of small and microenterprises, it's often difficult finding national companies and businesspersons to support such small projects.
Using Internet as a tool to create new incomes through marketing and advertisements. Many national agencies need more support from the Ministry of Communication to reduce the cost of internet and telecommunication.
“We hold a campaign to gather numbers from agencies and clients and then submit them to the communication minister. The aim is give such agencies and small enterprises special discounts on electric and internet services,” Faizah Al-Salimani, a member of the Small and Microenterprise Promotion Service, noted.
“Lina's is one example of our successful projects. We supported her from the initial step and we're now working to market her product both inside and outside of Yemen,” Qayied added.
Al-Abdul's home serves as her business location where she trains approximately nine employees to produce Al-Naed. Being interested in searching for new, sweet smelling plants and flowers, she recently discovered a Yemeni plant with the same smell as aloe.
“My purpose is to increase the number of my employees, especially when I see the real benefits my small project provides them – a good income and contributing to improve their income. It's in this moment that I really feel that I'm successful,” she concluded.