Juliana Najem.
An entrepreneurship programme targeting primarily women and youth in rural areas. Activities are tailored to the local needs and aimed at fostering job market insertion and rural development.
What solution does the innovation propose?

The initiative fosters the economic and social empowerment 
of women and young people with the purpose of creating employment and building capacity for the development of the tourism and hospitality sectors in rural areas. Additionally, Prodes builds capacity in women who have created informal tourism-related businesses to professionalise their services. The overall objective is to reduce migration to urban areas.


WISE Awards (2016).

Impact evidence

  • More than 12,000 young and adult women supported.
  • The Lebanese Ministry of Tourism integrated the programme into the 2015 National Strategy for Rural Tourism. The launch of the Rural Routes circuit is an important step for the socio-economic development of the 20 villages that are included.
  • 90% of the graduates from Prodes’ Institute of Management and Services (IMS) go on to full-time employment. 
  • A qualitative study shows success in helping participants through skills development, improving the management and processes of businesses, launching new start-ups and obtaining higher wages.
How does it work?

The programme offers diverse training activities to meet the needs of different groups and local regions. Its methodology is based on three core components: education (personal skills development and professional training in the business field of tourism and hospitality), business development (supporting the creation of micro-enterprises and access to financial mechanisms) and networking (creating networks and associations of female micro-entrepreneurs).

Through its Institute of Management and Services, Prodes delivers training programmes in groups of 8 to 15 participants and provides each beneficiary with personal follow-up through monitoring visits afterwards. In addition, activities deliver specific knowledge regarding technology, management, language, hospitality, arts and handicrafts, reviving local traditions and organising festivals and cultural events. Prodes also organises awareness campaigns to highlight the importance of the tourism industry, catering services, accommodation and local food production for the hospitality sector.

Geographical scope

Where was initially developed
Beirut, Lebanon.
Where has been implemented so far
Implemented throughout Lebanon.
Last updated: 
March 2019