WISE Profile: Aya Mletat
Things in my life exist that make it difficult at times, but instead of dwelling on them I choose to delve into my work and concentrate on something more meaningful: my success.
Born and raised in Beit Furik, a village outside Nablus, Aya Mletat is Founder and CEO of Solidarity Sheep Farm. Fostering Women Entrepreneurs in Nablus (FWEN) alumna Aya has returned for our phase two businesswomen's project Women’s Incubation Services for Entrepreneurs (WISE).
Solidarity Sheep Farm, founded in October 2012, specializes in the breeding, raising and selling of organic Merino sheep. This brand is unique in that it is leaner and has more meat. The goal of Aya's business venture is not only to provide consumers with healthy, organic sheep raised only on dairy products, but also to meet the demands of the market. There is a shortage of supply which has led to increasing prices. Furthermore, continued development of Aya's business will allow her to hire new employees, specifically females, which will have a positive impact on the currently weak job market in Palestine.
Aya has been very lucky to have the continued support of her family throughout the development of her business. On land donated to Aya by her father, she set off to make something great of the generous gift from her father; not only something that would propel her to her dreams, but would benefit her family as well. Knowing the agricultural sector is dominated by men, her family encouraged her to challenge the community and pursue her business. Their unwavering reassurance has been a source of motivation for Aya.
She sees her top three areas of growth from the start of FWEN in 2010 until now as the following: 1. Patience 2. Public Speaking 3. Forward-thinking
Her advice for budding entrepreneurs is:
One should not look to obstacles as obstacles, rather challenges. Life confronts people with difficulties, but not impossibilities.
With her win at the Celebration of Innovation 2012 we are sure that Aya will have an eventful and productive next year. Stay tuned to see how far WISE incubation propels her and her business!
-Samin Samin is the Program Coordinator for Women’s Empowerment Programs.