Ivtasim lives in Shfaram where she opened her pita baking business last year. For years she has worked for the Municipality as a cleaner in area schools but sought an avenue to create much needed additional income. She now bakes hand-made pita with "zaatar" (local thyme) and small pizzas. Over the last year she has gained a local clientele and has begun selling "pitot" and pizzas to area schools and kindergartens.
Ivtasim needed this loan to purchase a kneading machine, an additional baking oven, wood and supplies.
Ivtasim wants to continue in her business's expansion. With the kneading machine she is able to produce larger quantity. She hopes to expand her private client base and sell to additional schools and child care settings which have a high demand for steady supply.
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%.