One Stitch at a Time

Tailoring a better tomorrow for women in the South of Libya

December 28, 2023

Ms. Jamela Basher being announced as TEC+ Winner

©UNDP Libya/Malek Elmaghrabi

Jamela, a talented native of Ubari, possessed a passion for fashion and a desire to empower women in her community. This combination fuelled her to establish Al-Jamelah, a company specialising in tailoring and training, in 2018 – a business that would soon make her the winner of Libya TEC+.

Launched in February 2023, TEC+ is an initiative of Tatweer Research and the Ministry of Local Government, aimed at addressing the economic challenges faced by Libyan startups. The initiative is supported by UNDP’s Local Peacebuilding and Resilience Programme and funded by the European Union Africa Trust Fund.

Mr. Marton Benedek, Head of EU Cooperation

©UNDP Libya/Malek Elmaghrabi

This platform has helped Libyan startups to scale up, expand their network, and secure investment, fostering an enabling environment for inclusive economic growth. By supporting diverse business ecosystems in key sectors, TEC+ facilitates Libya’s economic diversification, while creating new jobs through private sector and paving the way for a more sustainable and prosperous future.

TEC+ Event in Tripoli

©UNDP Libya/Malek Elmaghrabi

Al-Jameelah stood out among the 50 diverse startups selected for the 8-week programme, representing sectors like technology, agriculture, and education. Jameela's company creates high-quality fashion designs for women and children, reusing old clothes and blending traditional styles with contemporary touches, besides creating employment opportunities for the women of Ubari. 

Starting small, Jamela overcame initial financial hurdles by selling her prized possessions to fund her project. With unwavering determination, she embarked on her entrepreneurial journey with five dedicated female employees and just two sewing machines.

Ms. Jamela Basher with Mr. Marc-Andre Franche (former Resident Representative for UNDP Libya)

©UNDP Libya/Malek Elmaghrabi

Years of relentless effort and perseverance fuelled Al-Jameelah's growth. The team expanded from five to eleven, and the number of sewing machines doubled, allowing them to meet the growing customer demand.

Jamela's ambition knows no bounds. As Al-Jameelah continues to flourish, she envisions establishing a factory in the southwest, creating jobs for over 50 women. Her aspirations extend even further, aiming to transform Al-Jameelah into a leading design and fashion powerhouse in Libya and beyond.

Jamela embodies the belief that success is built on unwavering determination. She’s an inspiration for women who refuse to relinquish their ambitions in the face of adversity and challenges.