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Enjoying the respect of her family and community, Ibtisam worked and works hard to earn this respect. While the start was not easy, 3 years into her business endeavors she is confident and has the potential for success with her growing business.

Ibtisam is a 48 years old Iraqi woman, living in the South part of the country. As a divorced woman she is raising her 4 children alone supporting the family through her business' income.

She is the owner of an important little shop, a unique project by woman for women. Specializing in selling clothing and accessories for women and children, Ibtisam attracts many women customers who enjoy shopping in a safe and comfortable environment with assistance of a female sales person.

Ibtisam's customers greatly enjoy the benefits of shopping for their personal items at a store run by a woman who is also a mother and can provide advice on sizing, quality, and availability of items.

Ibtisam's growing business and willingness to learn and develop her business skills qualifies her to participate in the WLIFT program and take a SME loan from Relief International Microfinance Iraq in the amount of 14,000 USD. With the loan she plans to purchase more and better quality merchandise as well as improve the store to offer an even better shopping experience for women in her area.

Ibtisam enjoys working in her project and with hard work and ambition dreams to have a large, unique shopping center for women.

Additional Information

More information about this loan

This loan 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 Iraq

Relief 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.


About Iraq

  • $7,100
    Average annual income
  • 0
    View loans »
    Iraq Loans Fundraising
  • $9,342,650
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • US Dollars
    Loan transacted in USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A loan of $14,000 helped Ibtisam to purchase more and better quality merchandise as well as improve the store.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
21 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Aug 29, 2013
Oct 15, 2013
Currency Exchange Loss:
Oct 1, 2015