Diala is 23 years old, married, has one child and lives in Al Aqaba, Jordan. She is the oldest daughter in a family with five children. When she was growing up, her mother did not work outside of their home, but had a reputation in her community as an excellent cook. Diala remembers waking up early in the morning before school and bathing and grooming her younger sisters, all the while being drawn to the kitchen by the smell of the fresh falafel, beans and warm bread with hot tea that her mother would prepare for breakfast. Though her family survived on the small income that her father made as a spice peddler, Diala remembers how her mother kept their door open to her neighbors and friends, who knew they could always stop by for a warm welcome and a hot meal.
Diala learned the art of food preparation from her mother, along with her commitment to share their food and homes with people in their community. Diala is also developing a home-based business where she makes pastries to sell. She is applying for a loan for 400 JOD to buy an automatic oven and equipment to start making pickles. Her goal is to increase her income and eventually open a pastry shop. She would also like to earn enough money to buy a house for her family.
Tamweelcom was ranked among the top ten microfinance institutions worldwide in 2007 and 2008 by the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX). Tamweelcom offers loan products tailored to the needs of micro-entrepreneurs in Jordan, including vocational and solar power loans, loans for aspiring entrepreneurs starting a project from home, and loans for established small businesses. Tamweelcom’s non-financial services include training and permanent showrooms for clients to develop and market their products, as well as educational grants for children to attend private school. Through a partnership with Jordan’s largest telecommunications company, Tamweelcom is the first microfinance institution in the Middle East and North Africa to allow clients to make monthly loan repayments with their mobile phones.