Building Home-Based Businesses for the Future

Ammar, a Syrian living in Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, was ready to reclaim his future.

Having spent years overcoming a serious injury, the loss of his business back home, and being away from his family still living in Syria, he needed to find ways to stay active and inspired.

Ammar decided to look for a job in Jordan doing what he knew best, sewing and tailoring – skills he learned from his father. Though injury had left him unable to walk, Ammar was confident in his abilities and did not let the setbacks stop him. Upon being hired at a local shop, he adapted a sewing machine so that he could power it with his mouth rather than his legs.

When COVID-19 brought the shop’s work to a standstill, Ammar made the decision to open a home-based business to take on tailoring jobs of his own. He received a grant from the Jordan Livelihoods Project to buy equipment and materials and was able to get a formal license for his new sewing business.

Ammar working at his sewing machine, which he adapted for his disability.

“I decided to work at home and use the skills that I have learned and my experience,” he said. “Because of the grant I received, I was able to buy a sewing machine to start a home-based business.”

Through the UNHCR-funded Jordan Livelihoods Project, Blumont provides home-based business owners with training to strengthen their business skills, focusing on operations, product development, creative design, marketing, financial literacy, and customer service. Ammar’s business fits the project goals – he operates from his home and aims to employ other disabled refugees. Also, with more than 83% of the 262 businesses in the program run by women, his business stands out as one of the few owned by a man.

Supported by the Jordan Livelihoods Project, Ammar registered his home-based business with the Ministry of Industry and Trade. This enabled him to trade with other businesses and diversify his clients. In addition, Ammar’s business was selected from a pool of 151 home-based businesses to receive mentoring sessions that include business counseling, tailored marketing plans, and formal linkages with local and national businesses such as restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, and other retailers.

“I feel lucky to be one of the businesses selected to participate in the Blumont mentorship program. I have great products – I just need the right guidance to help me succeed,” Ammar said.

Ammar is hopeful and optimistic now that his business is on track. “Right now, I don’t know what the future holds for us, but I hope I will be reunited with my family and build a bigger business to hire more Syrian refugees who are paralyzed as well.”