Irma & Co SAL is a Lebanese company that creates and manages concepts and food products around the Armenian culinary heritage. Irma was created in 2013, with gender inclusion and women empowerment as a main value. At Irma, equal opportunities are given to people from marginalized communities in Lebanon.
Farmers are trained and taught about the importance of preserving water and energy through every step of the process. Women are pushed to take leading roles in an industry mostly dominated by men in the MENA region. The products themselves follow the most meticulous regulations to be certified and ready for export.
We talked to the Irma Team about the impact of the support received through their participation in the WEEL project, funded by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France.
Growth and Impact
“One of the reasons we applied to the WEEL Project is the fact that it’s a women empowerment project supporting women entrepreneurs, which falls under our values of diversity and gender inclusion. Also, the financial support provided will aid us in producing and in expanding our products family, thus supporting more families.”
The business is growing quickly with slow or no access to finance for us to be able to keep up with the growth. We are finding more and better ways to finance the business with exporting products. We have finished our R&D and are finalizing our certificates to be ready for export.
We will start a new line in grilling and smoking vegetables, making them ready to eat and ready to mix with other ingredients. Through WEEL support, the project can finance this machine and these products, which will grow the company and help it move forward. The items will have a longer shelf life since they will be line produced instead of hand made and will preserve the quality and the Armenian touch! These products will provide careers to more employees especially women.”
WEEL is part of a larger programme, the EU for Women Empowerment (EU4WE), a 42-month programme (October 2019 – March 2023) funded by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France. It aims at promoting full and unconditional equality between men and women in Lebanon. The specific purpose of EU4WE is to reduce gender-based violence through women’s empowerment and enhance existing institutional mechanisms working towards gender equality.