Fatna is a 43-year-old mother of three. She is a microentrepreneur who takes the initiative and is determined to build a better life for her family. When a new elementary school was opened in her neighborhood, she got approval from the municipality and the school to open a snack bar for the kids and teachers. In Israel, schools do not have cafeterias or school-run snack bars. Instead, outside businesses can sell snacks and other items to school children and teachers on breaks. In many villages, small kiosks are set up to meet this demand, and they provide popular food and drinks before classes and during the food break.
Fatna needed this loan to upgrade her snack bar and meet the demand from the students and teachers. With the loan proceeds, she was able to purchase a coffee machine, an iced drink refrigerator, a stove and additional materials for her snack bar.
Fatna has always worked in cash and is now reporting her income and continuing to grow. As her business expands, she wants to hire staff, with the hope of including her eldest son so he can save money to get married one day.
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%.