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Enabling Business Environment and Private Sector Mobilization: Jordan, Zarqa Municipality; "Your Job from Home"

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Mar 31, 2019 / 0 Comments

"Your Job from Home" aims at providing simple and accessible jobs to certain disadvantaged social groups, by focusing on women and housewives in the host and refugee communities. The project will soon be scaled up to include more Syrian women as beneficiaries.


Lead Authority or Organization:  Directed Energies Association, in cooperation with the Municipality of Zarqa

Area: Zarqa, Jordan

Beneficiaries: 75 Jordanian women (housewives) / host communities  

Timeline: January 2017 - August 2017 

Human Resources: Project Manager, coordinator and trainers

Funding Amount: $40,000

Sources of Funding: United Nations Development Program (UNDP) 


Context and Challenge


As a result of the Syrian refugee crisis and the presence of 140,000 Syrian refugees in the city of Zarqa, unemployment and poverty have increased within host communities. Due to the lack of opportunities in academic and vocational education, and to some negative perceptions of the local community, women, youth, and disabled persons are the most disadvantaged in finding a job. As imports of foodstuffs from Syria stopped due to the crisis, the Zarqa Municipality started training women and granting licenses for home-based businesses in food production, especially targeting housewives. In the case of home-based businesses, women face modest start-up costs to establish their own business and generate profits for their families. 



Actions and Reported Results


The project went through the following steps


  • Project’s advertisements: Advertisements for trainings were sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and published on its website. A fixed directory of companies and institutions was created to ensure the largest follow-up to trainees’ businesses
  • Training of 80 Jordanian and 20 Syrian women on: 1) Crochet and accessories with natural pearls and gemstones; 2) Dairy products, cheese, jams and pickles; 3) Traditional and medical soap production and work with natural leather;  4) After each training course, another three-day course was focused on accounting, management and marketing
  • Creation of home-based businesses: Women started their own self-funded businesses, leading to the sales of products to local and foreign communities. 
  • E-marketing: Trainees received support from USAID’s Eshraq Marketing Program for e-marketing and opening their products to new markets. 
  • Feasibility studies and follow-up: The Ministry of Planning’s productivity promotion centers (IRADA Programme) carried out feasibility studies for home-based businesses and follows up on trainees’ work.
  • Business growth:These new businesses have caught the attention of a donor who started supporting them by providing equipment to improve and expand their businesses.


Reported Results


  • Job creation and improved economic situation: The project contributed to creating jobs for more than 20 women (housewives) who obtained their home-based business license, as well as several family members employed in the home-based businesses. It also contributed to increasing the household income for these families and improving beneficiaries’ economic situation. This is measured by the increase in sales average in bazaars and exhibitions for each woman. 
  • Increased skills: the project provided housewives with skills to use on the local labor market after completion of the project. In addition, more than 20 of the beneficiaries became trainers and started to share the experience and skills they have received with additional women.
  • Improved governance: A new municipal law includes home business licenses for the first time, which enables women to enter the labor market in this way.


Evidence and Beneficiary Feedback

According to the Municipality, the training program has received satisfactory evaluation by trainers and trainees. Following the training, women beneficiaries started production and sold their products in many bazaars and exhibitions inside Zarqa and in other cities in Jordan. 


Lessons Learned


Challenges and Risks

  • Long and sometimes complex procedures in obtaining licenses, especially related to food and health products.
  • Health requirements were perceived as a challenge as they require an extra amount of money for the maintenance and renovation of the working place.
  • Excessive cost of renting showrooms and lack of marketing space.
  • Lack of financial support for further training.
Key Ingredients of Success
  • Activate homemade production and focus on how the entire family benefits.
  • Empower women and marginalized groups.
  • Focus on small projects and market needs.


Innovative Aspects

The project does not require a high cost for production and expenses, as home-based businesses do not require fixed costs (e.g. rent). 




The number of project beneficiaries will be soon expanded, targeting both Jordanian and Syrian women and providing them access to the market. This project will be implemented with the support of the Intercultural Cities Networks. Other support to expand the scope of the project will also be welcomed. 
Recommendations for scaling up the project:

  • Improve marketing skills in its various forms (e.g. e-marketing).
  • Improve packaging skills.
  • Focus on advertising and promotion.
  • Stronger involvement of local authorities (municipalities), civil society organizations, and the private sector.


  • The Municipality of Zarqa provided a place for selling homemade products and for trainings.
  • The Zarqa Chamber of Commerce coordinated with shops to contribute to the sales of products.
  • Civil society organizations provided advice, counseling, and participation in project implementation.
  • Jordanian private companies supported the project by offering training and marketing products: Amal Ash-Shalabi Lab for the production of yogurt products, the Eclick Company for training and marketing, and Khodharji for training and marketing services.
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was the main donor.


This post is part of a series of case-studies published in the CMI 2018 Refugees' Compendium and featuring host communities experiences in hosting refugees with relation to local economic development. The information in-here was provided by focal points in the relevant institutions, NGOs, local governments, etc


Read the story on the compendium 


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