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Israel: Women’s Entrepreneurship Program Empowers Women in Rahat



At the end of the program, three projects selected by a jury will receive funding

The community center in Rahat (Israel’s largest Bedouin town) enables women who dream of setting up their own business to do so. Funded by the government budget allocated to the Arab sector in Israel, this project gives the possibility to the women of this community to emancipate themselves and acquire their independence.

While in Israel, the rate of unemployed Arab women is particularly high (60%), the proliferation of these initiatives seems like a helping hand to those who aspire to success.

The program is divided into two categories, one dedicated to women who have created a business and want to make it known, the other for women who want to work in social entrepreneurship. In total, about thirty places are open for these some 20 meetings of 3 hours per week, during which the participants will be able to learn the basics of the business world, but also the laws of the market and competition, in order to set up in Rahat.

At the end of the program, the participants will present their project to a jury which will select the three most useful companies for the city. They will then benefit from special funding to help bring them to fruition.

“Our goal is to help women who have the potential and the desire to create their own business by offering them all the keys to carrying it out. It’s about seeing more and more women business leaders in Rahat, to encourage them when they have an initiative and to prove to them that they can succeed by showing them examples of other women who have been there. We want to tell them that they are not alone in their approach and that we are providing solutions,” Sabrin Abu Sukot, in charge of the programme’s women’s groups, told i24NEWS.

Islam Abu Medigam, program coordinator in Rahat
Islam Abu Medigam, program coordinator in RahatWomen participating in the entrepreneurship program in Rahat, August 2022

“The women think of everything, from the concept to the finalization of their business, and I am very proud to see them evolve throughout the sessions” added Sabrin.

The ideas of the participants are varied: design company, event organization but also sports classes on zoom that they want to organize face-to-face, companies in the fields of cooking, ready-to-wear for women and children or digital marketing again.

“We have a real demand from women in Rahat to integrate our project, we feel that many of them want to set up their company. Women have more private companies and know what they want. There there is a real change today in Rahat; women used to work in the family business and were only there to help. Now they are taking matters into their own hands,” program coordinator Islam Abu Medigam told i24NEWS.

Rahat, located in the Negev desert, has approximately 77,000 inhabitants. Many programs launched by the community center allow the development of culture, tourism or sports and offer many activities to young people.

“This year, we opened 6 special summer camps in different fields: English, ecology, culture, Koranic studies and values, science and technology. More than 1000 young people were able to benefit from them for 10 days. on the potential of the students and I believe that every child has talent, you just have to give them the tools,” Foad Elziadna, director of the Rahat community center told i24NEWS.

Long stigmatized and victim of clichés around the honor killing of violence and theft, Rahat is gradually trying to restore its image with initiatives that promote youth and women and promote the development of their talents.

Caroline Haïat is a journalist for the French site of i24NEWS

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