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The Women’s Handicrafts Production Cooperative is a success story that has transformed the lives of its members, who had been finding it hard to obtain employment. They are now focused on creating their own enterprise. Started in 2018, today the cooperative’s membership has expanded tenfold and created employment opportunities by using the principles of social solidarity economy and collective business models. The Youth Participation and Employment (YPE) project in Egypt, developed in partnership with the Better Life Association for Community Development (BLACD), provided technical training to the cooperative in handicrafts production, as well as life skills training, to empower the workers to continue despite all the societal pressure for them to give up. Assistance from BLACD came in when it was needed. Particularly during the COVID-19 crisis, with the tourism market shut down, BLACD has provided crucial technical advice and support, supporting the cooperative to brainstorm and identify several parallel income-generating activities. This case study contains some testimonies from members of the cooperative on how their collective strength was harnessed to create employment and income.

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