How a box of cucumbers inspired Mahmoudeh’s new business idea and contributed to food security in Jordan

As a busy mother of six, Mahmoudeh spent most of her time taking care of her home and childcare responsibilities. Despite her busy life, Mahmoudeh was eager to start a business. Yet, she did not know where to start. One day, when she visited a local vegetable farm, a farmer gave Mahmoudeh a box of cucumbers as a gift. It was then that Mahmoudeh knew that she wanted to start a business selling cucumbers.

Her business started small- she began pickling cucumbers and sold them to her neighbours and friends. From there, she started selling them to the local market, where she made some profits. With the earnings from her local sales, Mahmoudeh was able to open a small store for home supplies and foods but was not making enough profits. This caused her and her husband, Yousef, to question how she could improve her business’ performance.  

One day in May 2018, Mahmoudeh registered with MEDA’s Jordan Valley Links project. She attended a training session to provide women entrepreneurs with further knowledge and skills about technical food processing, business planning, and bookkeeping in the Balqa food processing sector. By participating in the technical training and bookkeeping sessions that enabled her to document her sales, Mahmoudeh registered her home-based business and began to issue receipts and vouchers. As her business continues to grow, Mahmoudeh can now produce 500 and 600 kgs (1,102 lbs and 1,322 lbs) of pickles a week. Her husband Yousef affirms the positive role that women can play in the economy.   

“I believe that a woman plays a huge role in the community, not only as a housewife who raises children and takes care of the household, but also as an income generator able to support her family financially just as I do,” Yousef reflected.

Mahmoudeh is just one of many women entrepreneurs who, by joining the agri-food sector, are strengthening, and improving food security for herself and her community.  With the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) happening soon, keep in touch to find out how the future of food systems around the world will be impacted by the UNFSS.  

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  • MEDA is an international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty. We work in agri-food market systems, focusing primarily on women and youth in rural communities in the Global South. Our success is measured by income, improved processes, increased knowledge, and the creation of decent work.

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