Samiya, 26-year-old mother of five, lives in Israel's Negev region. She learned the art of sewing pillows and specialty Bedouin mattresses from her mother and grandmother. When young couples are married, it is tradition to help them furnish their homes with these pillows and mattresses. Samiya began her business of creating these pillows and mattresses from her home and has gained a reputation for creating beautiful products.
Samiya needed this loan to purchase raw materials such as wool, cloth, thread as well as additional gifts for customers to buy.
Through this loan Samiya has begun to branch out into additional gifts such as perfumes & cosmetics. She wants to continue to expand, add another sewing machine and in the next five years move to a central location outside of her home.
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%.