Empowering Businesswomen in Sha'ar HaNegev

By Noga Gulst, director of the Sha'ar Hanegev Initiatives & Small Businesses Unit

This week, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) launched a regional Women's Business Circle in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council. The Circle is a cooperative undertaking between Einat Greenberg of 'Women's Circles for Business Success and Development', Avital Nir, the Status of Women advisor in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council, and Noga Gulst, director of the Sha'ar Hanegev Initiatives & Small Businesses Unit.

It all started two months ago, when Einat came to Sha'ar Hanegev with a proposal to establish a regional women's circle aimed at:

  1. Empowering businesswomen in the region by stimulating connections with other businesswomen and mutually strengthening their businesses
  2. Deepening business knowledge
  3. Generating cooperative relationships between businesswomen of the region

What captured my heart from this concept was the difference between it and other women's circles that have existed here up to now—the women are active and work together, not only during their meetings but also between each meeting. Other circles consisted of the women coming in to hear a lecture and then discuss the topic, but with no contact between them between sessions.

Here, the women of the circle will meet once every two weeks for a concentrated session and and meet one-on-one in order to get acquainted and strengthen their business and personal ties. The women are responsible for 'doing their homework' and reporting on their personal meetings in the bi-weekly gathering.

Seven women attended the first meeting, with a goal to have 25 members from Sha'ar Hanegev and the entire region.

Each woman presented her business and how she envisioned her business in another six months. Einat explained the Women's Circles program, how it operates, and what she expects to happen for the businesswomen through their participation in the gatherings.

Together, we decided on the frequency of our meetings and set a date for the next meeting. We look forward to helping each other and collectively boosting our businesses.


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