A loan of $5,000 helped to purchase embroidery machines and hire more women to work in the workshop.

Shukria's story

Shukria is an incredibly hard working Iraqi woman who has built a business from scratch against all odds using the ingredients of ambition, will, and basic skills.

With 20 years experience as a professional, Shukria remembers when she fell in love with sewing, tailoring and embroidery. As a little girl she would make clothes for her dolls. With this love and passion she developed her skills and became a professional seamstress. With skill, passion, and ambition she grew the business and currently employs 3 other seamstresses. It is also used as a facility to train other women who would like to learn and work in this sector.

At the start of the business she faced many challenges; one of the biggest ones was the high rent of shops, but with a little creativity and a lot of work, she managed to find an interesting solution. She rented a property from the government for 25 years and had a modest, but sufficient, building built on it, which is perfectly suitable for the sewing workshop.

Her creativity, dedication and potential for continued growth qualifies her to participate in the WLIFT training program and to take an SME loan from Relief International Microfinance Iraq. She would like purchase additional, high quality embroidery machines which will enable her to provide a new set of services and deliver more competitive products.

As she explains with their own words: I’m Shukria. I’ve been a tailor for 20 years. I want to develop my business and improve my factory. With the help of Relief International, I will advance my business. I will purchase good quality embroidery machines to improve my services. Now I have three female workers with me, and, with God’s will, the number of workers will increase to more than seven, as I have a big space and five sewing machines.

Shukria is a member of the industry union and constantly keeps an eye on the type of services in demand. The in-demand embroidery is one of these services she has learned about and would like to add to improve her business opportunities.

Shukria is 45 years old. She is a widow and a mother of 2 children whom she is supporting and raising alone – showing a great example to all children in the neighborhood about what hard work can achieve. She is well respected, and although she did not receive a formal education, she has had a lifelong learning experience and has become a business woman with sustainable income.

She would like to continue to grow, increase her income and continue to be a respected valuable member of her community.

Loan details

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Loan details