Fatma, from Israel’s Negev region, was forced to drop out of school after 8th grade, but succeeded in raising four children and never gave up on improving her life. She sells mostly clothing and household supplies, in her village, and once a week she goes to the shuk (open air market), in Beer Sheva.
Fatma needed to buy more inventory for her business. She used this loan to buy children’s snacks, costume jewelry, clothing items and household supplies. With the opportunity to buy in large quantities, she was able to pay less, which will increase her profits.
Fatma sells her products near an elementary school and a health clinic in her village, and at a booth in Beer Sheva’s shuk. She one day wants to move into a small shop and expand her business, both in her village and in Beer Sheva.
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%.