Palestinian Territories

Business Association Development and Women’s Economic Empowerment

The Palestinian Territories are among the world’s most challenging environments for the private sector to operate and flourish. CIPE partners with associations and business constituency organizations to advance market-oriented reforms and strengthen private sector participation in policymaking. Through issue advocacy and associational excellence, CIPE aims to enhance the organizational capacity of independent civil society organizations representing key constituencies. 

Since 2001, CIPE has implemented programs in the Palestinian Territories focused on reforming the business environment, policy advocacy, entrepreneurship, MSME development for women entrepreneurs, and business association excellence.  

As an independent business association serving marginalized female entrepreneurs and micro-enterprise owners, the Palestinian Businesswomen’s Association – Asala convenes a broad community of stakeholders in dialogue around the barriers facing women in business and catalyzes collective action for reform. CIPE and Asala have worked together since 2016 to empower women entrepreneurs both in the economy and in civic life.  With CIPE’s support and advocacy assistance, Asala spearheads a grassroots dialogue process engaging women entrepreneurs across the Palestinian Territories, aiming to advance priority economic reforms that improve the enabling environment for women entrepreneurs and microenterprises. As a result, Asala has become one of the most prominent voices for Palestinian women-led MSMEs, with a proven track record of driving democratic change within a constrained space. 

Asala’s advocacy efforts have resulted in:  

  • the registration of more than 2,000 women-led businesses across the West Bank;   
  • more than 4,000 women in Jenin, Hebron, and the Gaza Strip secured their inheritance;   
  • expanded access for women in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in nontraditional sectors;  
  • increased market access opportunities for women-owned micro-enterprises;  
  • and greater commitment among Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture to the representation, participation, and inclusion of women in the chambers system.   

With CIPE’s support, Asala provides a range of valuable services and benefits to its members and the wider community. organized around the maturity of the member’s business.