Ghandi is a 38-year-old man. Ghandi has owned a bakery. For 20 years, Ghandi has been selling “saj” bread and Lebanese pastries. A saj is the metal oven used to make saj bread; it is a traditional Lebanese cooking dome. The saj is used to make several types of bread, including markouk (thinned) bread and doughy confections, or mankoucheh. A mankoucheh looks like a folded pizza; the most common toppings are zaatar (thyme), jebneh (cheese) and lahm bi ajin (minced meat). You can eat it any time of the day, but it somehow tastes better in the morning. He produces different types of jams, spices, bread and more. He also does Lebanese pastries like “Fatayers”, which are spiced triangular spinach pies stuffed with meat and onions; “Sfiha” which are pies made from our own fresh dough topped with spicy ground lamb meat, onions and tomatoes; “Sambousik” which are pastries with meat and pine nuts; and “Rakaek Jibne” which are thin flour dough, stuffed with a combination of cheese and fried to golden perfection. Ghandi requested a loan from Al Majmoua in order to rehabilitate his oven and install an electricity meter for his business. This is the first time that he has requested a loan. He is special in his work because he offers good quality and very tasty pastries and mankoucheh. His clients are people from his region, but mainly his friends, neighbors and tourists. Ghandi decided on doing his business because he is a very good cook and has experience. He plans to keep on expanding his business as well as his financial situation.
About Al Majmoua – Lebanese Association for Development
The Lebanese Association for Development – Al Majmoua is Lebanon’s leading microfinance institution and the oldest Kiva partner in Lebanon. Al Majmoua’s vision is to “be the leader in creating an inclusive financial system where all people in Lebanon have access to affordable services.” Given Lebanon's diverse population, Al Majmoua lends to all nationalities, provided legal residency. The strong financial position achieved to date has allowed Al Majmoua to steadily lower its pricing over the years.
Based on the belief that non-financial services play a complementary role in improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable entrepreneurs, Al Majmoua has established a solid Business Development Services program for both borrowers and non-borrowers with a focus on women and youth.