Palestinian businesswoman launches fashion line, opens own store with ITC support

1 October 2015
ITC News
Naima Zeyad launched her first jewellery line and opened her own store after participating in an ITC project.

Naima Zeyad is doing good business.

‘I feel as if I were a different person,’ said the Palestinian businesswomen. ‘Thanks to ITC, I can introduce myself and my business better, I have a nice new product line and my own brand, and I opened my own store.’

Zeyad is a beneficiary of the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) project on Enhancing Women SME Development in the State of Palestine (EWED), implemented in partnership with the Business Women Forum in the State of Palestine.

The project is designed to improve the competitiveness of women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and increase their participation in export value chains, allowing them to put creative products in the spotlight.

Zeyad previously worked as a producer for various embroidery businesses in the State of Palestine. After joining the EWED project, she decided to open her own business, called Heritage Touch, and product line.

Meeting buyers’ requirements

With support from ITC, Zeyad launched her first jewellery line and began creating a new product line featuring cushions, bags, clutches and hangings, with designs that cater to the taste of customers around the world. She now employs more than 40 women embroiderers.

‘Working with international consultants and designers has enhanced my knowledge about international markets, which enabled me to develop a new line of products with a variety of colors and styles that meets the requirements of different buyers,’ she said.

Thanks to the EWED project, the main telecommunications company in the State of Palestine contracted her business to provide pendants, earrings and necklaces to be given as corporate gifts to customers.

‘We are proud of the results, and we are looking forward to continue working with more women,’ said ITC project manager Eman Beseiso. ‘Women entrepreneurs are enhancing their capacities and international competitiveness, finding buyers and accessing new markets. We believe this will contribute to the Palestinian vision of “Export-Led Prosperity, Made in Palestine.”’

Opening new doors

With the support of the Business Women Forum in registering Heritage Touch with the chamber of commerce, Zeyad opened her own store in Ramallah.

The EWED project – funded by ITC through its Women and Trade Programme in partnership with the Business Women Forum – aims to increase income opportunities for women and improve the livelihoods of 21 women business owners in the State of Palestine.