Ramallah, Bethlehem, Gaza – Within the capacity building component of the One Stop Shop Project implemented by the Business Women Forum in partnership with Agility for Management and Consulting and the Palestinian Shippers’ Council, the Palestinian Shippers’ Council conducted 3 legal training courses in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, where 15 women Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) from the Gaza Strip were targeted through the Video Conference System throughout a 3-day training in May and June, in addition to 22 MSMEs from the West Bank throughout a 4-day training in July and August. Those trainings were given by a specialized lawyer in legal agreements and policies of companies and small and medium enterprises; the training addressed the topics of international agreements, obligations and responsibilities of each party and shipping, logistics and insurance policies; where at the end of the training, participants expressed that this training was very important for them as they were able to gain new legal information that could help them protect and develop their own businesses. Moreover, a practical implementation of the ground of what was learnt was implemented, as in accordance with Ms. Fatina Anani, one of OSS beneficiaries, “we were able to discuss business contracts on the ground, as we analyzed some and went through the exercise of addressing all details and items, which will lead to decreasing anxiety and stress associated with contracts signature due to the fear of not reading it well or misinterpretation of some items in it”; Ms. Khetam Sulaiman, one of OSS beneficiaries; also added “I used to always go to an intermediate when signing agreements as I didn’t feel comfortable and confident about understanding and signing the agreement myself without going back to the intermediate to notice any hidden items that could badly affect me and my business; now I have more confidence in myself and can read an agreement”, as for the issue of insurance, Ms. Ikhlas Sholi, one of OSS beneficiaries, added “I lost a lot of money due to the lack of awareness of legal obligations and those related to contracting; especially when it came to insurance, but following the information gained from the training, this will now change”. It should be noted that this training comes as a preparatory phase for the phase of international trade and market linkages within the OSS project; where the project is expected to open new markets to OSS beneficiaries and business owners.
These activities come within the framework of the BWF project titled “One Stop Shop for Sustainable Businesses-OSS”, in partnership with Management and Financial Consulting and the Palestinian Shippers Council, under the regional joint programme between the European Union and UN Women, “Spring Forward for Women”, funded by the European Union, and under the SDGs-F “Creating One Stop Shop for sustainable Businesses” Joint Programme, where the project targets 45 women Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs); 30 from the West Bank and 15 from the Gaza Strip; in terms of empowering them with technical and managerial skills and capacities needed to maintain cultural sustainable businesses and compete in local, regional and international markets.