Shenhav is a 36-year-old mother of seven from the Negev region. For years, she and her family have scraped by on welfare struggling to move out of poverty. After taking part in a business development course and researching what type of businesses area residents want and are lacking, Shenhav decided to open a cleaning supplies, paper and plastics products store. Disposable plates, cups and party supplies are in high demand during holiday and wedding seasons. Shenhav has a perfect location close to her home which includes a separate room with its own entrance.
Shenhav needed this loan for renovations to the store; for plaster, paint, windows and additional stock. Shenhav is putting in 50% of her own money and 50% from the loan.
Shenhav dreams of strengthening her business even further, but most of all, she wants to provide a better future for her children and continue to move out of the cycle of poverty.
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%.