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Policy Brief;

 

Mainstreaming Environmental Professions in Home Based

Businesses as A means of Boosting National Economy

2019

 

Rationale

 

Building a comprehensive national plan to achieve economic security requires collective efforts based on a deep understanding of needs and an appreciation of its competitive advantage. Achieving economic security is the ability to reach the highest level of civic, economic and social rights through an environmental lens together with the close integration of energy, water and food security. Additionally, the principle of ​​economic security revolves around the availability of enough means to pursue a peaceful and quality of life with equal access to health, education and other basic services.


In that respect, there is an urgent need to build an economic security approach that is rights based and empower citizens to benefit from the components of the environment in order to ensure their sustainability by enhancing food security through providing safe drinking water, which is the most important part of the food system. That requires a high agricultural capacity to invest in crops in quantity and quality to provide the ability to manufacture food and produce the necessary goods for human life and the ability to invest in human capacities in the field of agriculture, production and domestic processing to form the first brick for building an integrated approach based on exploiting available resources and taking advantage of natural resources.

That being said, national economies can only flourish by stimulating local economies. Impact is detected in improving the sources of income, creating new jobs and contributing to the achievement of sustainable development goals by eradicating hunger, promoting economic rights and preserving health in urban and rural communities.

This approach requires national plans and policies supported by national legislation based on a real and effective understanding of status quo in order to contribute to the achievement and development of such a plan. International experiences and practices suggest that one of the most promising means is to promote homebased businesses in line with an enabling legislative environment. Licensing and encouraging work from home can be either through amending regulations of small, medium and micro sized businesses or modifying administrative procedures to contribute to a comprehensive national effort.


Home-based businesses is of the strongest choices

Comparative experience shows that the homebased business sector accounts for approximately %50 of the total number of small businesses in the United States (28 million establishments) across all business sectors, contributing to USD 400 billion a year. In the UK, the number of businesses from home accounts to 2.8 million establishments; 34% innovative professions, 28% technology and fashion and 17% construction.


Legal regulation differs for home-based occupations according to the legislative context in each country. While there are no definitive legislations available, for example, regulating home-based occupations in line with food security there is a need for all parties to engage in a deeper discussion to build a food security sensitive mechanism designed for homebased businesses.


The Jordanian government invested in several studies and findings, which revealed that expected economic impact to stimulate this sector is quite favorable. Estimated number of beneficiary families is expected to range around 16.800 at the premise that 12.000 homebased businesses are injected into the Jordanian economy, creating about 13.000 jobs for youth and women, 3.000 opportunities for other segments of society, in addition to other positive effects, bringing the total economic revenue from 74 million to 138 million Jordanian dinars.


The Jordanian national context

The Jordanian government adopted several legislative and administrative measures to facilitate the licensing of home-based businesses through the issuance of instructions for licensing occupations within the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Amman, as well as instructions within the municipality boundaries. The Food and Drug Administration also issued instructions allowing food processing from home, published leaflets and invested in organizing some awareness sessions. Nevertheless, impact remains far from the desired change as regulations continue to include administrative shortcomings on procedure together with a lack of understanding on improvements by citizens. Thus, according to official records the number of professions licensed since the beginning of 2017 is around 500.

 

Existing challenges at the legislative level


1.            Contradictory municipal rules and regulations versus the process of licensing a home based business.

2.            Lack of an exclusive professions list that may be practiced from home.   
3.            Instructions do not illustrate incentives of home-based business and articles remain vague and naturally impede citizens to pursue licensing.
4.            Obtaining a license requires financial obligations, thus, an impediment to acquiring authorization especially in rural governorates.
5.            Complicated procedures in obtaining necessary approvals and licenses.

6.            Absence of a national vision to create an enabling legislative environment to promote small, medium and micro businesses.

 

Institutional challenges


1.            Lack of a national awareness campaign to educate citizens neither on existing facilities to license professions neither from home nor on their economic returns.
2.            Sensitization of a national food security plan that takes into account the competitive        advantage of municipalities.
3.            Energy and environment-related professions - the main engine for the integration of food-sensitive approaches- are ignored from the existing guidelines.
4.            Failure to adopt a national institutional approach to mitigate obstacles and challenges during the licensing process through a unified approach.
5.            Lack of available plans to neither integrate home-based businesses into decentralized municipal councils nor promote partnership between actors.
6.            Exclusion of civil society organizations in participating in the development of national policies and plans for home-based business.

Future scenarios


To activate this experience at the national level requires the adoption of many administrative, legislative and technical measures and can be summarized in:

-  Develop a sensitive and comprehensive legislative approach for small, medium and micro sized businesses followed by an examination of its effectiveness.

-  Building national perceptions to integrate and adopt home-based businesses through the involvement of municipalities and activists at the local level.

-  Launch a national campaign to educate municipalities on the contents of the instructions and the best administrative practices to facilitate procedures of licensing work from home through holding awareness sessions for those concerned and specialists in each municipality.

Integrate household tasks related to the environment, energy and agriculture according to the methodology of determining the needs and competitive advantages in each geographic region.