From where I stand: “I am far more confident at the prospect of beginning the process”


Haneen Hussen, a 22-year-old Jordanian social science graduate, has been partnered with a professional mentor through the Mowgli 'Mentoring for Success' programme to kickstart her own business in Shobak, a community which hosts a number of Syrian refugees in Jordan. With the generous support of the European Union Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis (MADAD Trust Fund), UN Women and Mowgli are providing 200 Syrian and Jordanian women in Jordan with the opportunity to build their confidence and enhance their professional and personal development through mentorship. Enabling women like Haneen to start a business and enhance their resilience to overcome societal, psychological and gender-related hurdles that prevent them from creating and growing sustainable long-term employment. 

Haneen Hussen joined the Mowgli “Mentoring for Success’ programme with the dream of opening her own business in her local community of Shobak, in southern Jordan. Photo: UN Women/Lauren Rooney 

QuoteThis time last year my business idea was all but a dream: a figment of my imagination. Even though I would spend hours thinking about the concept and the idea, I would give up when I thought about the lack of women-led businesses in my area and whether I, a woman, could ever have the chance to start my own business. 

That is, until I began the mentoring programme. On the first day of training, I was overwhelmed to meet 11 other women with the same hope of opening their own business and becoming women micro-entrepreneurs. 

The next stage of the process included meeting the women who would become our mentors. I remember the room being full of ideas, happiness and strong women. 

It was on that day that I met Eman. We clicked instantly. She listened to my business idea with such intensity and enthusiasm. Within moments she was giving me notes on where to start and who to contact. 

On the mentee and mentor pairing day, I truly wished that I would be paired with Eman. And at that moment when our names were called together, we embraced one another with such intensity. It was an emotional moment for both of us and the beginning of our journey together.

I have always known that I would like to work with children. From my studies in social sciences and my work as a volunteer in youth initiatives, I formulated my business concept. I am going to start an entertainment and art therapy club for children within the local community. Schools in this area focus on traditional subjects. Children seldom have the chance to express themselves creatively. The idea of the centre focuses on fostering children’s creativity and expression. 

The concept is still in the development stage, but I am far more confident at the prospect of beginning the process with Eman by my side now.” 

SDG 5: Gender equality
SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth

Haneen Hussen has a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and is a regular volunteer for youth initiatives in local governorates at a local level. She is also a committee member at the Princess Basma Centre. She applied for the Mowgli 'Mentoring for Success' Programme in the hopes of kickstarting her own entertainment and art therapy business for children. Her work contributes to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as SDG 8, which aims for full and productive employment and decent work for all.