Tara’s first degree was a diploma in electricity from the technical institute in her town, but she could not find employment utilizing this skill set. In pursuit of job opportunities, she studied English literature and received another diploma and began working in her father’s translation office. She learned from her father’s experience and has worked diligently over the course of fifteen years to become a reputable and professional translator, speaking four languages: Kurdish (her mother language), Arabic, English, and Yugoslavian.
Tara’s father is pleased that she is following in his footsteps, and is sharing his experience and skills with Tara as much as possible. Though his financial conditions are not great, he supported Tara as much as he could in her pursuit to open her own translation office one year ago.
Tara is 47 years of age. Her translation office is helping her to be financially independent, which is rare in Iraq and the Middle East, where single women are often dependent on their fathers and/or elder brothers. Moreover, she helps her family financially and has created four job opportunities in the community. An ambitious and enthusiastic entrepreneur, Tara dreams to have an international translation firm that translates to and from most of the main international languages.
Tara’s willingness to build her managerial capacities by participating in the WLIFT program and to improve her business qualified her for a loan of $10,000 from Relief International. The loan will allow her to buy additional equipment and computers, as well as conduct some promotional events and marketing activities that will hopefully increase her business sales.
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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