Fatma is a 50-year-old woman from southern Israel, and is married with eleven children and several grandchildren. Fatma has an elementary school education but a strong and proven business intuition. She owns a successful general store which sells children's clothes, women's traditional dresses and different trinkets and gifts. Fatma has taken a loan to expand her enterprise and open a mini-market on the same lot where her general store is located.
The loan will help her with the final renovations and to purchase store supplies. Fatma has trained her daughter to manage the general store so she has the time to develop the mini-market and strengthen her business ventures.
In the future Fatma wants to develop her businesses so they can support and employ not just her and her family but additional workers from the area, creating a source of income for others.
Koret Israel Economic Development Funds (KIEDF) launched its direct lending program, SAWA, in 2006 to help low-income and unemployed populations within Israel create independent income-generating activities. SAWA currently serves Bedouin women in the Negev, Arab Israeli women in northern Israel and Jewish Israeli women. SAWA loans support a wide variety of small business types including consumer goods sales, grocery stores, animal raising, hairdressing, sewing, and day care. SAWA continues to grow and serve new populations while maintaining a loss rate of less than 3%.