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Manal is a pioneer. After high school, she enrolled in beauty school – she was the youngest student and the only Arab woman in her class. Following beauty school, she established the first salon in her town, Kfar Yassif in Israel.

When she started her business, 30 years ago, it was against her mother’s advice. Manal’s mother wanted her to become a school teacher because she thought it a much better profession for a woman. But Manal was determined to forge a different life for herself.

The early days were tough. Sometimes, she only had one customer a month. The women in Manal’s village didn’t have much interest in the new beauty salon and some were concerned that the products might have harmful effects. Manal spent time talking to her potential customers, selling her services and promoting her beauty treatments. Slowly, she started to bring in more customers from her town, as well as the surrounding villages, and gradually she began to make a profit. All the while, she was managing the accounts at her husband’s physiotherapy clinic and raising two children.

When she heard about our project, Manal saw an opportunity to grow her business. Her aim was to expand her customer base across Israel. Through our marketing training, Manal came up with a plan to reach new customers. She began to advertise her salon in local newspapers in different towns across Israel, as well as on Facebook. Over a period of eight months Manal’s customers doubled.

Manal was also assigned a business coach through our project. Together, they discussed Manal’s idea to launch a new service: weight-loss treatment. Manal had her mind set on buying a new machine, built using NASA technology. But the idea came with a risk – Manal had some capital from her business but would also need to apply for a $9,000 bank loan to be able to afford the machine.

The risk paid off. After just one week of offering the new weight-loss treatment, Manal was able to repay the loan in full.

Since joining the project in March 2016 Manal has tripled her revenue and business is better than ever. Now, she’s planning her next step – opening a beauty academy. She has already rented a building nearby and is expecting to launch the academy in two months’ time.

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