'Cake and Vanilla': One story of success
Ramallah – In the village of “Jadeera” northwest of Jerusalem, Sally Suleiman and a group of friends chose an old abandoned building as a launching point for their project “Cake and Vanilla”. Since then, they have consistently increased the sale of their date and nut cookies, first in their village and then later, in areas around and beyond Ramallah and even inside the Green Line. The women now create a quality, well-marketed product after honing their online marketing skills, creating and running their own website and being part of other similar websites to display their baked goods.
MIFTAH: Financial and technical support
Sally and her project partners admit that their success would never have been possible if it were not for MIFTAH’s support, providing them with the necessary equipment and appliances and working to develop their financial administration and marketing skills.
“MIFTAH was a huge support,” Sally says. “It gave us material and technical support, which motivated us to push forward and reach as many people as possible. Today, ‘Cake and Vanilla’ is a household name, not just in Jadeera but in areas in and around Ramallah and all over Palestine.”
Challenges and Obstacles
Sally mostly cites marketing challenges due to competition and gaps in the market in places they have difficulty accessing. She also points to the interminable problem of funding the website. MIFTAH, she says, helped them with ways to tackle this issue through providing them with training in online marketing, website management and funding with the goal of reaching a broader public.
Sally maintains that the project has tangibly improved their social and economic statuses and has allowed them to become more acquainted with society. She also says it boosted their confidence and their ability to depend on themselves and that their newfound economic empowerment had a positive impact for them within their own households and communities.
Community development project
MIFTAH project coordinator for community development and income-generating projects, Hanan Said, said these interventions with young female university graduates are part of MIFTAH’s efforts to empower women and integrate them in the labor market. The projects also give them the opportunity for financial independence and for developing their personal and professional skills. This, Said maintains, will allow them to carry out an effective role by reflecting the positive impact of women’s economic participation, in addition to elevating women’s statuses in their communities.