Aqaba Micro-Business Incubator (AMBI) graduates new batch of entrepreneurs
2 February 2011
The Noor Al Hussein Foundation's Aqaba Micro-Business Incubator (AMBI), in partnership with the Aqaba Community and Economic Development (ACED) program/ USAID funded program, and under the patronage of HE Mr. Mohammad Saker, Chief Commissioner of Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, today granted certificates of participation to 29 graduates who just completed its latest training cycle entitled, "Start Your own Business" and "Improve Your Business."
The trainees, who attended a series of workshops offered over a three-week period, are now eligible to participate in the AMBI program which helps Jordanians start and improve their own businesses.
The micro-business incubator program, which is the first of its kind in Aqaba, has offered entrepreneurs a comprehensive array of services at no charge during its initial phase.
"We actually take entrepreneurs by the hand, and move them from A-to-Z," explained NHF executive director Hana Shahin. "We walk them through every step of how to launch their business, manage their business, and market their product." She added that those in need of financing are connected to financial institutions.
Since its founding, the AMBI has held 11 training cycles, benefiting 198 men and women, and supporting 74 new and existing businesses. 64% of the beneficiaries are women.
Another milestone, according to Shahin, has been targeting new sectors, such as the Public Syndicate for Mechanical Professionals, to improve their members' skills in managing their auto mechanics and electrical maintenance enterprises in a business professional manner.
Mr. Sameer Al-Saii, Chairman of the Public Syndicate for Mechanical Professionals and an AMBI beneficiary remarked, "Before joining the AMBI's 'Improve Your Business' training, our businesses were run randomly. Now, thanks to the AMBI training, we have learned correct management practices." Al-Saii added that Syndicate members have also learned how to price products, improve customer relations and network with other businesses, thereby increasing their efficiency.
If past results are any indication, Wednesday's graduates are now equipped with the skills they need to launch or improve their business own ventures.
Graduate Rana Yassin, who just completed the "Start Your Business" training cycle, is now being incubated at the AMBI. She says the training and support she receives from the AMBI have helped her increase her sales and profits in the perfume enterprise she owns.
"Since I joined the AMBI two months ago," Yassin said, "my sales have doubled and I am now able to manage my financial records."
Mr. Ronio Muqatash, who is planning to open a small factory to manufacture potato chips, says the training helped him understand the necessary safety practices for his factory. Additionally, the training helped him develop a professional business plan.
During today's ceremony, Dr. Gregory F. Maassen, Chief of Party, of USAID funded Aqaba Community and Economic Development (ACED) Program remarked that business incubation is an economic and social development process designed to nurture business ideas and start-up companies:
"It is more than just developing products," Maassen said. "It is about finding ways to market products, building linkages with other entrepreneurs, providing guidance to start ups through a help line, and developing regulations that support smaller entrepreneurs."
His Excellency Mr. Mohammad Saker, Chief Commissioner of Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority highlighted the need for coordination and reconciliation of efforts among organizations working on supporting micro-enterprises. He also stressed the need to focus on quality innovative products rather than quantity.
The aim of the Aqaba Micro-Business Incubator is to deliver specialized business support and services to micro and small businesses. Incubator services include capacity building, business counseling, mentoring and one-to-one follow up, in addition to connecting participants to microfinance institutions.
For more information about the program contact the AMBI HOTLINE between 8-4pm at 077-548-4356.