She is a 46-year-old mother. After her husband passed away in the year 2008, she took over the responsibility of raising her five children and is still holding that responsibility. She wanted to do something to generate income to her and her family, but she couldn't get a job since she left school early, and she didn't work outside her home to gain experience. Therefore, she had the idea of a local Kurdish bread bakery, as she had gained the experience of making it from her mother since her earliest age.
Her professional start was not easy. Like most of Iraqi women, the biggest challenge she faced was lack of capital. But she was determined to provide income to her family, so she convinced her family and mother to sell their family property to start her business. Now, her mother and children are proud of her and say that her business preserves local Kurdish customs and bread. Nazira is proud of her business as well because she is providing job opportunities and income to more than 10 women, many of them widows.
Nazira is responding to her clients’ demand to have the local Kurdish bread close to them, and therefore she applied for an SME loan in the amount of $20,000 to buy a vehicle to distribute her local Kurdish bread to the supermarkets and groceries in the surrounding neighborhood. Her hope for the future is to open branches in other cities in the Kurdistan region and to open a local Kurdish sweets shop in her city.
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 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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