detail - Regional Programme Gulf States
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About 2,000 Kuwaitis and expatriates visited the event at the Marina Hotel. Diverse products were offered for sale, all of them produced in home-based and small businesses. Moreover, young authors presented their books.
The exhibition and the engagement of BPW attracted considerable attention in the local media. The young female entrepreneurs addressed interested visitors and explained how their goods are produced. They spoke about their experiences and challenges in setting up their businesses. “Many people still believe that women should stay at home,” said Rana, who sold hand-decorated cookies. “This is why many of us work from home, at least initially.” If a product is successful, the next step is to venture into self-employment. “But this is not an easy step,” she added. In particular, young women are often not taken seriously by the society – and they need the support of their family members in order to help their small businesses off the ground. For this reason, a network such as Business & Professional Women is of great value, since it offers a forum which makes start-ups much easier. BPW also offers trainings in business skills and women empowerment.