Bus to the Future: Israeli Tour Shines Spotlight on Periphery’s Female Entrepreneurs
CTech – Dozens of senior executives from Israel’s economic sector participated last week in a special tour to support the economic empowerment of thousands of women and entrepreneurs from Israel’s periphery. The tour was organized by Yozmot Atid, a non-profit organization that empowers women from the geographical, social and economic periphery through a training and guidance program in the process of setting up small businesses and becoming financially independent. During the trip, the senior businesspeople visited the businesses of the female entrepreneurs, graduates of the organization in Bat Yam and Jaffa, talked with them and learned directly about the businesses they established as part of the training program, and the process that the women participating in the program go through.
“I got married at a young age, but I was independent before the children were born. During my pregnancy I felt that I was not able to establish my business and instead I took a job providing customer service at a call center. After the birth of my twins, a social worker recommended that I take part in the Yozmot Atid program. She knew that creativity in the beauty industry was my passion and she directed me towards self-fulfillment,” said Lee Levy, who runs a beauty business.
Levy hosted the tour participants at her home in Bat Yam and told them about her journey in starting a thriving independent business. “I am a graduate of the 2015 group of Yozmot Atid and through the organization I got a loan to start my business. And of course I am so grateful to my amazing mentor, thanks to whom the business itself was born. Today we make a good living from the business, I have had regular customers for years and I enjoy my work every day and the journey I took,” Levy said.
The participants of the support tour traveled on buses arranged by Yozmot Atid which accompanies about 1,000 women each year in the process of setting up small businesses. According to data from the organization, all 1,000 women-run businesses established within the organization generate close to $17.5 million in net income in total for the business owners, and another $17.5 million in savings for the government.
At another stop on the journey, the group stopped in Jaffa, at the home of jewelry designer Lia El-Natan. “I knew from the moment I graduated that I would work in the field as a freelancer, because in this way there is a chance to create financial independence for myself and thus I will have the freedom to truly fly with my artistic self. I came to Yozmot Atid because I was searching for information and help in becoming independent. I am a graduate of the 2017 group and it allowed me to reach who I am today, a young businesswoman who has her whole future ahead of her,” said El-Natan.
The tour was led by Reuven Krupik, Chairman of Bank Hapoalim, Adi Soffer Teeni, CEO of Meta (Facebook) Israel, Nissim Bar-El, Founder of Yozmot Atid, Batsheva Moshe, GM of Wix Israel and Chairperson of Yozmot Atid, and Tsofit Gordon, CEO of Yozmot Atid.
“There is a lot of talk about the deepening gaps in Israeli society and this week another significant step was taken in an effort to reduce those gaps,” said Batsheva Moshe, Chairperson of Yozmot Atid. “It is exciting to see business sector executives rally to strengthen thousands of women from the periphery who are working to produce for themselves and their families a better tomorrow. I have no doubt that we will see fruit for this initiative very soon.”