Women Entrepreneurs: Khawla H. Al-Khateeb

Date: Sunday, November 20, 2016

Khawla Al-Khateeb

QuoteWhen my husband lost his job during the second Intifada in late 2000, I had to find a way to support my family and feed my children. At first, I was knocking at the doors of civil society organizations, being happy with any opportunity I was offered, and trying to make ends meet. However, one day, I realized how much I was being taken advantage off. It had to change. After years of hard work, I used the small savings I had and purchased my first embroidery machine to work on my own. I was now able to take more orders, and with the help of my family and close friends, my customer base rapidly increased. My love for traditional clothing and my talent in embroidery was becoming my way out of the uncertainty and vulnerability cycle! I also started attending the women entrepreneurship workshops offered by the Bethlehem and Hebron Chambers of Commerce, and explored new opportunities to grow my business. That’s how I came to the decision of opening my own shop in 2013.

Today, I manage and run my own business in Bethlehem. Working on my own account was the most difficult decision I made in my life; but it was a challenge worth taking, one that changed my family’s life to a more dignified and stable one. My work is the main source of income of my family, and with it I am able to support the university studies of three of my children.”

SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
Khawla H. Al-Khateeb is a Palestinian entrepreneur, and the founder of “Palestinian Women.” Under the One-Stop-Shop for Sustainable Businesses, she strengthened her business and marketing skills and explored opportunities to grow her business. With the 6,000 USD grant she received, Khawla purchased a modern sewing machine. A small change that considerably helped her; first by improving the finishing and quality of her products, and increasing her productivity and competitiveness. Khawla has now the capacity to further expand her customer base and looks forward for working more and more with private businesses.

The One-Stop-Shop for Sustainable Businesses promotes Palestinian women small to medium businesses, through building and strengthening the business management and marketing skills of women entrepreneurs, exploring export opportunities on local, regional and international markets, and tackling policies to create a regulatory environment for the protection and promotion of local production and businesses. The joint programme is implemented by UN Women, FAO and ITC, in partnership with the Business Women Forum and the Economic and Social Development Center of Palestine, and funded by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Fund, and the EU and UN Women-funded "Spring Forward for Women" regional programme.