Skip to main content
Stories from the Field

Linda's Journey: From Adversity to Entrepreneurial Success

Linda's Journey: From Adversity to Entrepreneurial Success

Linda, a 64-year-old woman from Zawtar El Charqiyeh, married in Bekaa, and a mother of four. She's a determined entrepreneur who embarked on her business journey due to challenging economic circumstances.

Linda's story begins with the establishment of her production cooperative, a partnership she shared with her husband in the pantry food industry. Together, they thrived for many fruitful years, driven by a shared vision. However, tragedy struck when Linda's husband passed away.

Starting the business was no easy feat. Linda rented the place from her cousin, facing financial challenges in convincing the family to invest in the venture. She resorted to loans to renovate the place. Gradually, she paid off her debts by selling her products, expanding her operations, and investing in new machinery.

Linda's path intersected with Basmeh & Zeitooneh when they reached out to her. Initially, she hesitated, concerned about the time commitment. However, her reservations dissolved when Basmeh & Zeitooneh offered workers through the cash-for-work initiative embedded in the project. They also provided her with the tools and materials necessary to boost her production capabilities. This support reinvigorated her business and bolstered her confidence.

Under Basmeh & Zeitooneh's Food Security and Livelihood program and in partnership with Porticus, Supporting women entrepreneurs in agriculture In Central and West Bekaa

The project’s goal is to strengthen Lebanon's agricultural sector. It supports women-led agricultural cooperatives with technical assistance and in-kind support while also assisting vulnerable Syrian and Lebanese workers. Furthermore, the project fosters networking among agriculture stakeholders, cooperatives, and workers to exchange experiences, offer mutual support, and facilitate market access and workforce opportunities, reducing social tensions.

With this support, Linda's cooperative flourished, attracting new customers and retaining loyal patrons. Beyond tangible benefits, the project offered vital psychosocial support. Linda, initially burdened by accumulating debts, found solace and strength in these support sessions. They cleared her mind and empowered her to move forward. In her words, "I felt stronger, I stood on my feet, and I will continue to do so. I find comfort in work." This psychosocial support provided not just financial stability but also the mental fortitude needed to overcome adversity.

From her modest beginnings, Linda ventured into entrepreneurship, navigated challenges, and achieved success. Her participation in the project played a pivotal role in her journey, providing the resources and emotional support necessary for her to thrive in her chosen field. Today, Linda's cooperative thrives, attracting new customers and making a positive impact on her community, all while she stands as a symbol of strength and resilience.

Related Programs:
Food Security and Livelihoods Program