For many Palestinians having a college degree doesn’t necessarily mean access to competitive jobs in the labor market. As a recent Health Management graduate, Bethlehem-based Kholoud Al-Basha was faced with the reality that it might take months, if not years before she would find work in Palestine’s limited employment landscape.
However, Kholoud was not deterred and decided she wasn’t going to wait for an opportunity to come her way. Instead, she would create her own. Soon after, Kholoud came up with an idea to start a virtual business that would allow her to make use of her embroidery talents but was still unsure where to start on this ambitious project.
During this time, MENACatalyst launched the project, Self-Employment in a Digital Age, to help a new generation of self-starters access the latest technologies and learn the most in-demand digital marketing skills needed to create wide-reaching virtual businesses. The program is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. Kholoud joined and gained access to MENACatalyst’s team of digital marketing experts, business enablers, industry partners, and mentors from inside and outside of Palestine.
“I believe showcasing Palestinian embroidery and designs is very important not just on a national level but on a global one. Palestinian embroidery has the power to share our stories and showcase our rich cultural heritage that continues to live on through generations past and present.”
Empowered with her newfound skills and networks of support, Kholoud launched Gifts by Kholoud, a virtual shop featuring an array of fashion pieces, accessories, and household items, all embellished with both traditional and contemporary embroidery designs. Not only is Kholoud the proud owner of her very own virtual shop, but with her newfound skills, she now provides local businesses with social media marketing services by managing their Facebook pages and helping them utilize paid advertisements to increase traffic to their online locations.
“MENACatalyst provided me with the opportunity to expand my knowledge and horizons through its digital marketing program. When Covid-19 hit the country, I thought I would never be able to start my business. But with MENACatalyst, Gifts with Kholoud is now up and running and beginning to gain considerable local recognition. Thank you MENACatalyst for all of your continued support.”
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