She Entrepreneurs helped me see the opportunities rather than the challenges

SI:s leadership programme She Entrepreneurs started 2011 and since then almost 300 women entrepreneurs have  participated aiming to build successful and sustainable businesses. Reem AlFranji from Jordan is one of them. She shares the story how her business has grown and how she improves the lives of thousands of children with intellectual disabilities.

“In 2017 I got the chance to participate in the She Entrepreneurs leadership programme, a life changing experience not only for me, as it enabled me to change the lives of thousands like me.

As a mom of two sons with intellectual disability, I experienced the lack of guidance on how I can improve their life and help them have a meaningful life when they grow up.

Out of She Entrepreneurs, I launched, an online resource on intellectual disabilities in Arabic that provides immediate guidance and continuous support to parents with children having an intellectual disability. We provide a video library of specialists and parents sharing experience, a directory to facilitate parent’s access to services and a Tele-coaching serves, that will be launched soon, to connect parents with specialists to have one-to-one guidance easily.

In the Middle East, we don’t have referral system that will guide us through our journeys with our children and the stigma is always associated with having a child with disability.

Long time ago, I wanted to do something about it, but I couldn’t figure out how until I participated in She Entrepreneurs. The programme helped me to open my eyes and see the opportunities rather than the challenges, it helped me change my mindset, practice the self-leadership before leading others and how to reach out for mentors. It helped me change many aspects in my life and acquire new set of skills that empowered me to start and move on with my social venture aiming to have a sustainable and scalable impact driven by values and purpose. Simply, it helped me turn my idea into action.

The platform started to get more attention, and, after a few months of our launch, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah invited us to share more about our work. We also had the honor to meet the Crown Princess of Sweden, Victoria at the Embassy of Sweden in Amman in 2018.

One of our recent achievements is that we won a 100,000 USD grant prize from Dubai Expo 2020 which will be utilized to develop the technology of our platform and improve our reach to parents.

We are also working with UNICEF – Jordan to find ways to reach more and more parents on a grass root level.

Currently we have around 10,000 visitors a month on our website, reaching more than 1 million people through social media and helped more than 500 parents one-to-one via our inbox and direct messages, many of them from Libya, Palestine, Egypt and Sudan.

I am so grateful for this opportunity, and, for the support that I am having, still today, from my mentors in Sweden and from the Embassy of Sweden in Amman, I wouldn’t have been able to reach so far and.

The word “Habaybna” in Arabic means “Our loved ones”, as we believe that children with all abilities are our loved ones. “

Find out more about She Entrepreneurs and how to apply.