Marcel worked for over 15 years as a physical therapist with handicapped and disabled adults. Her work was physically demanding, and after suffering a back injury she could not go back to this field. Instead of giving up she decided to develop a business activity. She started selling jewelry, handbags and cosmetics that she bought and restyled from her home. Marcel was able to sell items even cheaper than available at the souk market.
Marcel needed this loan to renovate her workstation and purchase additional stock. She dreams of continuing to branch out into additional items and utilizing her sewing and artistic skills. One day she wants to open a store on the main street of her village and broaden her business' potential.
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%.