Ibthihal is the owner of a beauty salon located in Iraq, in an area without beauty salons before she opened hers. She established the small but efficient salon 3 years ago and since then focuses all her efforts on making it a successful business.
She is a single woman with the full support of her family who are also very proud of her achievements and are watching her attentively to see what additional endeavors she will take on in the future. Success comes with some envy and jealously from others, but Ibtihal is unstoppable and is eager to become the best service provider and a respected woman business owner in the city.
With Ibtihal's great potentials to grow both personally and professionally, while improving her business as well, she qualifies for the WLIFT program and is taking a loan in the amount of 12,500 USD to use for the expansion of the current salon.
Continuing to recognize the lack of services available in her area, after establishing the salon she is now - with the financial support of the Relief International Microfinance Iraq SME loan - adding a special service and area to her salon focusing on brides and weddings. She plans to expand the salon and also include an area used specifically for wedding pictures of the beautiful brides of her area.
Ibtihal aspires to become a successful business woman. Being under 30 years of age, she also qualifies for the category 'youth loan'
More information about this loan
This loan to a borrower under age 30 is part of the WLIFT program (Women Leveraging the Internet for Financial Transformation), a partnership between Kiva, microfinance institution Relief International, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and the U.S. State Department. The program combines customized technical assistance with loans for women-owned small and medium enterprises in Iraq to help them grow, increase their profitability, and create more stable jobs in their communities.
About Relief International IraqRelief International (RI) is a non-profit non-sectarian organization with a multifaceted approach to working in post-conflict, vulnerable and transitional countries. As part of its core mission to bridge emergency relief with long-term development though sustainable, enterprise-oriented solutions, RI directs a broad microfinance portfolio in the Middle East and South Asia. In Iraq, RI microfinance has been providing access to capital for micro, small and medium enterprises since 2006. When lending through RI, there are several points to consider:
1. RI-Iraq offers loans that are customized for borrowers in Iraq, a predominantly Muslim country. A key principle of Islam is the prohibition of charging interest on a loan. This prohibition is based on the belief that money is only a medium of exchange and has no value in itself. In order to offer loans in a manner consistent with borrowers' values, RI-Iraq charges 0% interest on this loan. However, RI-Iraq does charge a servicing fee to cover its costs. The loan amount you see listed on Kiva includes both the principal loan and the loan servicing fees. As with all Kiva loans, you should expect to have your funds returned to you according to this loan’s repayment schedule. For more information on lending in the Muslim world, please click here.
2. Because of on-going security concerns, due diligence on RI-Iraq was conducted remotely, rather than in-person as is typical with most Kiva Field Partners. RI-Iraq does, however, meet all of the other minimum criteria required by Kiva's full due diligence.
3. One of the challenges of lending to entrepreneurs in Iraq is the increased chance of difficulty transferring funds between the United States, where Kiva is based, and Iraq. While Kiva has been able to send and receive funds to and from Iraq in the past, there is a chance that we may encounter problems doing so in the future. This could result in difficulty repaying loan funds to lenders, even if individual borrowers have paid back their loans. As a lender to borrowers in Iraq, you would be taking on this additional risk.
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