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National initiative to support productive families launched

Arabian Centers Limited Company, a member of Fawaz Al-Hokair Group, is supporting productive families in Saudi Arabia with a new Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative that was launched on Wednesday.


The initiative is named "Dollani to the Souq," which means “Direct me to the market.”


The inauguration ceremony took place at the Mall of Arabia in Jeddah, where the program will be implemented. Muna Abu Sulayman attended the ceremony.


The program “Dollani to Souq” is dedicated to support and empower productive families and help young entrepreneurs to penetrate the market. On a larger scale, the initiative targets to lower unemployment within the Kingdom, encourage CSR, empower and assist creativity, productivity and entrepreneurship within the Kingdom.


The initiative is not confined to financial or temporary support, but includes training, skills development, identifying elements of success and failure, developing plans and strategies to cope with demand and supply rather than the traditional method adopted at show rooms, traditional tents and bazaars, which all leads to enhancing the participants’ skills and raising their self-confidence.


The initiative launched on January 16 will last for three consecutive months at the Mall of Arabia where families will showcase their businesses. The program, which took off in Jeddah, will eventually start in Makkah at Makkah Mall, Madinah at Al-Noor Mall, and in Dhahran and Riyadh by early May 2013.


Arabian Centers Marketing Manager Fahad Al-Otaibi said that their contributions are not limited to marketing activities, but they also have policies to reduce unemployment by creating job opportunities for young men and women. They will also be contributing to the health of society, and adopting different social programs to help needy people and promote the concept of voluntary work.


Jawhara Safi, who started her own creative catering business Arabika, is one of the women taking part in the initiative. She found about the initiative through Twitter. “I applied and started the workshops and I took it from there. I started three months ago and will stay at Mall of Arabia for three other months,” Safi said.


Arabika is introducing the concept of creative catering, which is about new recipes and a variety of mini salads and mini desserts. “We are targeting office lunches, all kinds of catering and in the near future hope to have our own café. We have different recipes brought from different places and we add to them our touches,” she added.


Lina Al-Hariri, General Manager of Liyano for traditional souvenirs and home accessories, said that it was a great initiative, which hopefully would help her one day to start manufacturing her own products.


“I started my business in interior designing a long time ago then I found so many competitors in the market, like China, so I decided to turn to home accessories that are easy to make by women, who work with me. The purpose of my business is to provide more opportunities for women to work from home and at the same time spread our heritage,” she said.


Al-Hariri makes home accessories made from traditional material and colors. Some are made with raw materials from palm fronds.


After spending three months in Mall of Arabia, Al-Hariri is aiming to move from producing goods to manufacturing. “I won't be able to do that unless I have permanent outlets to sell my goods and have more women to work with me, which I’m working on,” she said.

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