Supportive Community – Women's Business Development Center
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Supportive Community – Women's Business Development Center is a non-governmental organization that supports Israeli female micro-entrepreneurs in establishing and operating micro-businesses. Based in Tel Aviv, the organization provides women with training in basic business skills, coordinates their applications for micro-loans, and organizes business fairs, lectures and workshops to help women manage and grow their enterprises. In addition, it offers personal guidance and mentoring to its clients. Through these services, the organization aims to help Israeli women improve their economic and social status. In Hebrew, the organization is known as Sviva Tomehet (סביבה תומכת).
Supportive Community places particular emphasis on helping women from diverse cultural backgrounds, new immigrants and minorities. Their clientele draws from across the state of Israel, and includes recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia, Israeli Jews and Arabs, Orthodox Jews, and many others.
Supportive Community was founded in 2003 by a small group of businesswomen, all immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Their goal was to promote the economic and social integration of women of diverse backgrounds into Israeli society through the development of micro-businesses managed by women. Lena Gurary, one of the founders, is currently the General Manager of the organization. Since 2003, the organization has helped over 3000 Israeli women launch and operate their own micro-businesses.
According to the most recent research released by the Israel Small and Medium Enterprises Authority in 2008, Supportive Community was named among the three most important non-governmental organizations in Israel in the field of women's social and economic empowerment.
In March 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with representatives of Supportive Community during her first diplomatic trip to Israel. In the meeting, she emphasized that Supportive Community "... is exactly the kind of model that needs to be replicated, because you need a safe, supportive community to test your own dreams and your own talents." In a subsequent press conference with the Israeli Prime Minister, Mrs. Clinton recognized Supportive Community as a model for multicultural coexistence in Israel.
Supportive Community offers a wide range of programs to female micro-entrepreneurs. These include training courses and workshops to develop basic business skills such as negotiation, marketing and management, fairs and trade shows, and multicultural networking sessions. Supportive Community also coordinates the activities of Koret Israel Economic Development Fund, one of the largest micro-credit institutions in Israel, in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. The organization offers programs to guide clients through the loan application process and identify the micro-loans that best suit the needs of their business.
- "Secretary Clinton Discussed Women's Entrepreneurship and New Media in Israel". Embassy of the United States, Tel Aviv, Israel. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011.
- "You Tube video of Hillary Clinton visit with New Israel Fund grantee Supportive Community". New Israel Fund. Archived from the original on 27 July 2010.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20090503090836/http://www.asakim.org.il/. Archived from the original on 3 May 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2009. Missing or empty
- "Roundtable With Women's NGO and Female Entrepreneurs: Hillary Rodham Clinton". U.S. Department of State. March 3, 2009. Archived from the original on 5 March 2009.
- Bonnie Gutman (4 March 2009). "Dynamic Business Women Form 'Supportive Community'".
- "Hillary Clinton Praises NIF Supported Economic Empowerment Program for Women". 18 March 2009. Archived from the original on 5 September 2010.
- Pamela Deutsch (4 May 2009). "Secretary of State Clinton meets Supportive Community's delegates". Israel Nonprofit News.
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