In the wake of the Beirut port explosion, COVID-19 fallout and a crippling financial crisis, Lebanese women are twice as likely as men to be unemployed, work in unfavorable conditions and receive lower pay. In response to these entrenched inequities, Lutheran World Relief implements two concurrent projects in Lebanon that champion gender and social inclusion.
Our USAID-funded Women’s Global Development Prosperity (W-GDP): Expanding Women’s Labor Force in Lebanon project supports women entrepreneurs as catalysts for positive change in business as well as in their families and communities, with gender-appropriate and gender-specific interventions. The project provides a tailored, digitized, university-accredited certification to the women led-enterprises of USAID’s private sector development programs in Lebanon. Many of these women may not have access to higher education or other formal certification programs to demonstrate their knowledge and gain external validation for their businesses in the market.
Building upon these efforts, our Business Recovery Services and Fund project, funded by Kerk In Actie (KIA), shares the same aims of empowering Lebanese women by promoting an enabling environment for women's entrepreneurship and improving the capabilities and resiliency of women-led enterprises. By complementing W-GDP programming, the project can affect rapid business growth with an already-trained cadre of women entrepreneurs, providing them with access to much-needed business grants and loans, linkages to additional training, community activities and social cohesion resources for long-term impact.
Between the two projects, women have access to a complete pathway for enterprise development and operation designed for sustainability.