Empowering female entrepreneurs in Somalia

Anand, 35, runs a small shop in Eyl, which she established using a small grant and business training. © UNDP/Danielle Botti

In Somalia’s Puntland region, poverty and the lack of economic opportunities often force communities to turn to piracy-based incomes to survive.  

In the coastal town of Eyl (in Puntland), UNDP and local authorities are working closely with community groups to identify ways to prevent the need for piracy-related incomes. In Eyl, UNDP worked with local women’s groups to identify tools needed to change that dynamic. Based on their recommendations, UNDP is supporting 150 women in Eyl with $250 small business grants and business training.
Anand, 37, runs a small shop in Eyl. She established her business through this small business support from UNDP. Before this opportunity, Anand had few options. “I knew a small shop like this would help me make a decent living, but I could not afford the start-up costs,” she said.

Working with local authorities, UNDP worked with Anand’s local women’s center, consulting women on their specific needs and unique challenges to find the best tools to raise them out of poverty. Providing small grants of $250 and small business training, UNDP is helping the women build solutions to buffer the effects of piracy. The grant from UNDP helped Anand start her small shop. Today, her shop makes as much as $15 dollars a day and supports her and her five children.
Women like Anand are preventing the piracy in their communities by creating a diverse and stable economic foundation. Job creation is vital in towns like Eyl, which suffer from a lack of economic opportunities. Providing alternative livelihoods for people is one way that UNDP is helping to reduce piracy in these vulnerable areas.

Long-term employment fostered through the provision of grants and microfinance schemes like those that support Anand will benefit up to 1,880 entrepreneurs.

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