WISE II Entrepreneur Profile: Rola
For the past 17 years, Rola from Tulkarem, Palestine has been a devoted mother and wife. In 2012, she realized that her monotonous routine was erasing who she was as a person. That is when she decided it was time to make a change and focus on herself. Rola came up with the concept of producing all-natural honey. To her, the queen bee metaphorically represents Rola’s belief of a woman’s role in life. She is the one in charge of the beehive and without her it would cease to survive and thrive on its own.
As a homemaker, Rola felt that time-management continues to be the biggest barrier in her success as a businesswoman. Both of these responsibilities are full time jobs and there are periods when she lacks motivation and simply wants to give up. Luckily, she has a supportive husband that inspires her at moments when she is physically and emotionally exhausted.
The main obstacle that Rola had to overcome in order to turn her dream into a reality was basic logistics. Her home did not possess a lot of outdoor space, and with small children, safety was a concern. In addition, she didn’t have the slightest clue on how to make honey. After tirelessly searching for a course on producing honey, she found one with Agricultural Relief in Tulkarem. Rola, who had saved money from birthdays and holidays over the years, purchased two beehives, which have now blossomed into 23. With the help of her neighbor she was able to store them on their land. As she started to produce profits from selling the honey, she repaid her neighbor’s favor by employing her.
Rola heard about the WISE II program at Tomorrow’s Youth Organization from the Chamber of Commerce in Tulkarem. The orientation session held at the TYO center in Nablus was the first time she travelled outside of Tulkarem without her husband or an adult family member. In order to feel safe and secure, Rola brought along her 10 year old son. Now, she has gained the self-confidence to travel alone all over the West Bank to attend exhibitions and seminars related to her business. Through the WISE II program, Rola has learned vital marketing skills for her business. Through networking at events, she is now considering expanding her profession to include flower production.
-WISE II Entrepreneur Rola interviewed by Outreach Coordinator Futoon Qadri