Stories

Under SEED’s umbrella, umbrellas are making their way to the market Stories

10 March, 2021

Feryal Al-Masry is a single mother of five who lives in Deir Alla, Jordan. She was one of the participants of SEED’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program. The Sustainable Energy and Economic Development in Jordan (SEED) Project provided training to the local communities in Ajloun and Deir Alla to allow them to initiate or expand their businesses.

Feryal, alongside other participants, benefited from a 3-month long bootcamp that allowed her to translate her ideas into a business plan. Then she competed for seed funding and was successful in getting support for her innovative idea – building a solar umbrella!

Deir Alla is one of the hottest regions in Jordan, with average summer temperatures around 40 degrees Celsius. This has a major impact on the energy bills of households and store owners. Feryal made use of her handicraft skills, for which she is recognized in the community, and some additional funding from SEED to bring her ideas to market.

Feryal’s first customer was a hotel in the Dead Sea area. She started small, by supplying an initial batch of four umbrellas, but was extremely optimistic and enthusiastic about opening her small shop for manufacturing umbrellas.

“With support from SEED, I was privileged to gain technical training in many different disciplines, like running my small business, taking care of finance and thinking about product design”, said Feryal. “In developing my idea, I consulted with experts, engineers and technicians to improve my design and business approaches.”

Feryal’s entrepreneurial acumen is helping small business owners in Deir Alla reduce energy costs, save money and reinvest those savings to support the needs of their families. Feryal’s family and her children are also benefiting from the additional income that is directed to support the needs of her household.

“I was so proud of myself for taking on roles that are normally reserved for males in the community. I showed our community that women can start vocational businesses and generate income to support their families. I sincerely thank SEED and the donors for the opportunity, technical support, and the financial award. I consider myself very lucky to have had this opportunity.”, said Feryal.

Photo: Maxim Fortin, Cowater International


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