The Palestinian Territories of West Bank and Gaza is one of the world’s most challenging environments for women entrepreneurs. In an effort to reduce the legal and social barriers that women entrepreneurs face, CIPE partners with the Palestinian Businesswomen’s Association – Asala. As an independent business association serving marginalized female entrepreneurs and micro- and small enterprise (MSE) owners in Palestine, Asala convenes a broad community of stakeholders in dialogue around the barriers facing women in business and catalyzes collective action for reform.
CIPE’s partnership with Asala has focused on organizational capacity building, including governance and strategic planning, and developing valuable membership services. To better understand members’ needs, Asala engaged female entrepreneurs and MSE owners from all 16 governorates of Palestine in dialogue focused on identifying obstacles to women’s empowerment in the business community, solutions, and opportunities for growth. The process yielded a gap analysis of the business-enabling environment, which captures the top priorities of this constituency for reform and lays the groundwork for the association’s issue advocacy.