Women Entrepreneurs in Lebanon: Breaking Gender Barriers

March 15, 2022


Image of woman's hands as she makes meals to sell in her community

USAID’s $1.5 million Women’s Global Development Prosperity: Expanding Women’s Labor Force in Lebanon (EWLFL) Project (2020 – 2023) identifies women business owners or entrepreneurs. The Lutheran World Relief-led project enables women to enhance their skills, and affords opportunities to benefit from mentoring relationships and support networks.

Only one out of every four Lebanese women participate in the country’s formal workforce. Increasing women’s roles in the Lebanese business world can significantly contribute to the country’s economic rebirth as they bring expertise, innovation and talent to the national economy.

Corus International organization Lutheran World Relief implements the USAID-funded Women’s Global Development Prosperity: Expanding Women’s Labor Force in Lebanon (W-GDP: EWLFL) Project. By increasing business development opportunities for women entrepreneurs and strengthening the capacity of women-led enterprises, the project helps Lebanese women become catalysts of entrepreneurial development.

One of the pioneering women taking part in the project is Nancy Ghannam, a Lebanese entrepreneur and activist who is breaking gender barriers and creating jobs for other women in her community. The project will enable Nancy to develop a robust financial plan and expand her handmade goods enterprise.

"I started my career with so many little dreams, and I’ve worked hard to accomplish them dream by dream."

Soon, Nancy will fulfill her next goal: earning an externally accredited certification from the Lebanese American University (LAU) in Beirut. She wants other women to know that “you are born as leaders, and you always will be.”

The Women’s Global Development Prosperity: Expanding Women’s Labor Force in Lebanon Project will continue to break gender bias in the workforce. By advancing an inclusive entrepreneurial environment, women entrepreneurs are now coming together through solidarity networks and mentoring opportunities.

Caroline Batarekh, Lutheran World Relief’s Deputy Programs Director in Lebanon, says, "Nancy Ghannam demonstrates that a woman can break gender barriers in Lebanon and become who and what she wants, showing her community that there is no limit to what a woman can accomplish. Every woman’s success should be an inspiration. We’re strongest when we cheer each other on!"