Bank of Palestine provided exclusive sponsorship for the activities of the second women’s bazaar entitled “Persistence to continue our journey,” featuring the participation of 70 women entrepreneurs. The Bazaar, which is organized by the Ministry of National Economy within the framework of the National Day activities to support Palestinian products, stems from the bank’s vision to support women’s projects and ensuring their sustainability.
The bazaar was inaugurated at the Peace Center in Bethlehem, under the patronage and presence of His Excellency the Minister of National Economy, Mr. Khaled Al Osaili, in the presence of the Governor of Bethlehem, Major General Kamel Humaid, the Director of Corporate Business at Bank of Palestine, Mr. Nasser Bakir, and the Deputy Mayor of Bethlehem Mr. Hanna Hanania, and the Vice-Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Bethlehem Governorate, Mr. Khaled Al-Darawi, in addition to the participation of representatives from the public and private sectors, civil society institutions and the local media.
The two-day bazaar aims to display a variety of Palestinian women's products, thus contributing to supporting women's projects, introducing their products, and enabling them to market and network with various institutions and partners.
Minister Al Osaili stressed that the bazaar comes within the Ministry's promotional activities for national products that compete in international markets, and women's products distinguished by their quality and competitiveness, and it constitutes a good opportunity to introduce citizens to these products that deserve support, and provide all the ingredients for the sustainability of these industries.
Al Osaili pointed to the Ministry’s interventions to provide an empowering business environment for women business owners by improving the relevant legal environment, designing programs to enhance resilience to address the repercussions of the health pandemic on industrial establishments, especially women’s establishments, including setting criteria for national standards and classifications for economic establishments, considering their importance in enhancing the opportunities for establishments to obtain financing, incentives and facilities, in addition to the financial services provided by the banking sector.
Al Osaili stressed the importance of supporting and developing national products, which is the priority of the government and the Ministry of National Economy, taking into consideration that national products are the mainstay in the development of the national economy and should be the first choice in the baskets of consumers. Al Osaili indicated that raising the share of national products in the local market from 42% currently to 44% (2% annually) will provide 5,000 new job opportunities.
Major-General Humaid valued the contribution of Palestinian women to various fields, indicating that providing support for women, and the many messages delivered by the bazaar in support of women’s projects and national products, and the opportunity to display products from different Palestinian governorates in conjunction with the Christmas celebrations, indicates the existence of a ministry with its strategies, policies, work teams, and a vision, all working together to support Palestinian national products.
Bakir commended the efforts and benevolence of Palestinian women, their persistence to overcome challenges, and their creativity at many levels, which represent a main pillar of national products that make us proud and that we are committed to supporting. He affirmed that the bank took the initiative to support the bazaar to allow Palestinian working women to continue their entrepreneurial journey. He added that Bank of Palestine was keen to provide exclusive sponsorship to the bazaar through the Felestineya program, which was launched in 2014 as a sustainable program aimed at empowering women entrepreneurs and owners to develop their projects and ensure their sustainability, pointing out that the Bank launched this program as part of its strategy to achieve financial inclusion to provide access to women owners of small and medium size projects, and enhance their capabilities to participate in the advancement of the Palestinian economy and the empowerment of society.
Bakir also praised the efforts of the Ministry of National Economy to support women entrepreneurs in various sectors, stressing the continuation of work in partnership and cooperation with the Ministry to implement support and awareness activities for women entrepreneurs, which contributes to their empowerment and enhances their participation in leading economic and social development in Palestine.
Mr. Hanna Hanania welcomed the honorable attendees, praising the Ministry of National Economy and Bank of Palestine for their role in supporting women entrepreneurs, and organizing this bazaar on the sidelines of the National Day to support Palestinian products, expressing his pride in the women of Palestine who struggle despite difficult circumstances and give pride a meaning.
Hanania explained that the Bethlehem Municipality contributed to implementing projects in support of Palestinian women, and spread awareness among business owners to empower and support them. The municipality also organized various events to familiarize the local community and the world at large with women's products, stressing that this support falls within the framework of providing a decent life for women and their families under difficult circumstances.
Al Darawi pointed out that the establishment of the second edition of “Persistence to continue our journey” is evidence of the Palestinian government’s interest in supporting and empowering women economically, enhancing their contribution to the production wheel, and increasing their participation in economic and social development, considering them a cornerstone and an important pillar in building Palestinian society.
Ms. Fadwa Khader, the spokeswoman on behalf of the women entrepreneurs participating in the bazaar, expressed her heartfelt thanks to the organizers of the bazaar, calling for the organizations of more such events and providing all the support for national products to become a substitute for imported products and a keystone for strengthening the national economy.
Several specialized programs are implemented under the Felestineya program, targeting women business owners of small and medium enterprises, such as the Mini MBA program, which enables female entrepreneurs and business owners to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills in the world of business and commerce. A total of 151 women have graduated from this program so far. The Felestineya Program also implements awareness and training workshops in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, in cooperation with various partners, with an aim to refine the skills of businesswomen in management, leadership, marketing, banking, finance, modern technological skills and other necessary skills to enable them to succeed and advance. Felestineya graduated more than 14,000 women beneficiaries since its establishment, and provided banking products and specialized loans for women project owners, corresponding to their business needs.
It is worth noting that Bank of Palestine offers many banking and financial programs and products that make it easier for business and project owners to complete and manage the financial affairs of their projects and meet their banking requirements. Some of these facilitations include loans targeting business owners corresponding to the needs and requirements of their projects. The bank also offers modern banking digital services, which include internet banking and the Banki mobile application, allowing women to conduct their banking transactions with easy and flexibility, without the need to visit one of the bank branches.
The Bank is also keen to ensure that beneficiaries have access to Bank of Palestine's banking services through the presence of the mobile center "Banky Rahhal" at the sites of the workshops implemented by the Felestineya program in various governorates. The PalPay portfolio of Bank of Palestine group contributes to facilitating the completion of financial transactions for female entrepreneurs, especially electronic payments and other modern digital financial services, which enhances the ability of female entrepreneurs to collect their money from products and services and implement various financial transactions quickly and safely.