2011 Jasmine Conference

The annual Jasmine businesswomen’s conference for women is being held today in Israel. Jasmine, which was founded by the Jewish-Arab Center for Economic Development, is a program designed to promote Jewish and Arab businesswomen who run small businesses, by tailoring a purpose-built plan for each business.

The purpose of Jasmine is to promote female-owners of small businesses in Israel, Arab and Jewish alike. The purpose of this conference is to raise awareness of the importance of women-owned small businesses as an economic and social lever in Israel, and to examine ways to assist such businesses.

Ofra Strauss is serving as voluntary President of Jasmine for the fourth consecutive year. Ahead of this conference she said: “Small businesses are a critical component in every growing and/or developed economy. Studies show that small and medium-sized businesses, which constitute the largest part of every economy, are the pillar of economic activity in every country, with women-owned small businesses proving to be the most resilient sector in times of crises.

The Jasmine conference will focus this year on excellence as an important and crucial value in the success of every business, with an emphasis placed on small businesses. The conference will address the women-owned small business sector as well as the excellence required in running small businesses in our competitive world.

In Israel, 92% of working women are hired employees, whereas only 27% of the self-employed people are women. Statistics in the last decade show an accelerated growth, both in Israel and internationally, in the number of businesses in the general and in women-owned small businesses in particular.  In Israel, small businesses today comprise 98.9% of the total number of businesses, with women-owned businesses standing at 20% compared to 44% in the U.S. It is no wonder, then, that the Obama Administration declared that women-owned small businesses in the U.S. constitute a critical part in the 21th century American economy.

The conference will include a panel of institutes that assist small businesses, which will be moderated by the editor of the Calcalist Leisure Section – Yael Weiner. Other participant include manager of the Small Business Authority at the Ministry of Industry & Trade – Ran Kiviti, manager of the Small Business Section at Koren Fund – Hagit Rubinstein, manager of the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women at the Prime Minister’s Office – Vered Swid, and Central Area Manager at Bank Hapoalim – Viki Levi.

A special panel will be devoted to excellence of women in business, with the participation of Sybil Goldfeiner, founder of Comme il Fault, Dafna Bester of SuperPush, Vida Mashur of Alsonara newspaper, Julia Gal, founder of Julia Spa Express and Maya Efrati, founder of Elia Recycling.

Hundreds of Jasmine members will take part in this conference – leading Jewish and Arab businesswomen who will be provided with tools and practical knowledge on how to promote small businesses in Israel.

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