Financial Inclusion in Egypt - Empower 8000 women

by Coptic Orphans
Financial Inclusion in Egypt - Empower 8000 women
Financial Inclusion in Egypt - Empower 8000 women
Financial Inclusion in Egypt - Empower 8000 women
Financial Inclusion in Egypt - Empower 8000 women
Financial Inclusion in Egypt - Empower 8000 women
Financial Inclusion in Egypt - Empower 8000 women
Financial Inclusion in Egypt - Empower 8000 women
Financial Inclusion in Egypt - Empower 8000 women
Financial Inclusion in Egypt - Empower 8000 women
Financial Inclusion in Egypt - Empower 8000 women
Financial Inclusion in Egypt - Empower 8000 women
Financial Inclusion in Egypt - Empower 8000 women
Coptic Orphans Staff with Banque du Caire Staff
Coptic Orphans Staff with Banque du Caire Staff

We have amazing newsCoptic Orphans has just formalized our partnership with Banque du Caire this past month, paving the way for thousands of women to own and control their own bank accounts for the first time! 

The partnership allows Coptic Orphans to open over 8,000 bank accounts for single and widowed mothers, empowering them by granting them financial independence and boosting financial accessibility and literacy for women in Egypt. 

Founded in 1952, Banque du Caire is one of Egypt’s oldest and largest banks. 

Sadly, the level of financial inclusion in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is among the lowest globally, standing at 29% overall, and 24.5% among women. Many women in Egypt, especially poor women, do not participate in the formal financial system. Only 9.3% of women are banked compared to 19% of men. Low levels of financial literacy, coupled with the fact that many women—particularly in rural areas—do not have a national ID, make it difficult for them to access formal financial services. 

Increasing women’s awareness and participation in such services is essential to their economic empowerment. “Through this partnership, thousands of women will be ushered into the 21st century” stated Dr. Maged Ragaie, Coptic Orphans’ Director of Strategic Engagement. 

Banque du Caire CEO Mr. Tarek Fayed commended the agreement, saying the partnership “will have a great impact for women as it aligns with Egypt’s desire to increase financial inclusion for women in the country.” 

Thanks to your support, these incredible women are on their way to complete financial independence. 

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For mothers to succeed in their income-generating projects, they need a strong foundation in financial literacy. Otherwise, we’re asking them to handle a sizable responsibility without demonstrating sound financial management. 

Our new financial literacy initiative launched a pilot run just a few weeks ago. Our staff held a training day for volunteer Reps to learn about the concept of financial inclusion, the purpose of the system, and how to implement the initiative’s procedures with our mothers. These training sessions are especially important because Reps provide one-on-one mentorship for the mothers, making sure they each have a committed support system as they navigate Egypt’s banking system.  

Reps’ training sessions also serve to create a system of problem-solving and communication between Reps and the banks with which we work. If a problem arises along the way for any mother, their Rep will be able to guide them through it. Smooth sailing all throughout! 

The following day, mothers who participate in the program across Egypt were invited to workshops explaining the financial inclusion system. We received positive feedback from mothers and Reps – all were enthusiastic about this new initiative! 

This project grants serious empowerment for women. Mothers become more independent and gain the ability to enact change in their communities with a bank account. Women are learning critical skills like budget management, how to use an ATM card, and other principles of financial literacy. For many of our mothers, this is the first time they have had an ATM card and unmitigated access to their own finances. 

As always, thank you for your support in helping more of Egypt’s widowed mothers become fully capable of managing their household’s finances. 

 

 

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We’re thrilled to announce that Be’daya is expanding its program services!  

Through Be’daya, Coptic Orphans will now be able to provide over 8,000 widowed mothers with financial inclusion. This will amplify the skills they need to harness opportunities offered by the fast-arriving digital economy. That means more women will have access to microfinancing, mobile money, bank accounts, and other financial services.   

The level of financial inclusion in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is among the lowest globally, standing at 29% overall, and 24.5% among women. Many women in Egypt, especially poor women, do not participate in the formal financial system. Only 9.3% of women are banked compared to 19% of men. Low levels of financial literacy, coupled with the fact that many women—particularly in rural areas—do not have a national ID, make it difficult for them to access formal financial services.   

It’s not surprising that Egyptian women account for only 10% to 20% of bank borrowers. Increasing financial inclusion for women in the formal financial system is essential to their economic empowerment. 

Since the adoption of the National Strategy for the Empowerment of Egyptian Women 2030, Egypt has taken wide strides to promote financial inclusion and economic empowerment for women. One example of such efforts is the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Central Bank of Egypt and the National Council for Women. This initiative will raise women’s saving rates, encourage their entrepreneurship by boosting their access to banking services, and increase financial awareness among female school and university students.   

This is where Coptic Orphans steps in. Our expanded services will allow Coptic Orphans’ widowed mothers to take advantage of government policy initiatives and economic change in three areas.   

First, it will assist the 93% of widows who currently do not have a bank account to open an account, thus paving the way to receiving the benefits and services offered in the digital economy. Second, it will educate mothers on financial literacy and how to increase their savings and skillfully manage micro-loans. Third, it will contribute positively towards generational change by training mothers on how to model sound financial judgement and communicate financial literacy to their children.   

This expanded initiative will bring all of Coptic Orphans’ widowed mothers into the 21st century. By making the female heads of households fully capable of managing mobile money, opening bank accounts, and handling other financial fundamentals, they will have taken a giant step to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

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Vera* started singlehandedly running her family’s photography business after her husband passed away unexpectedly. She was left with old equipment, which presented a real challenge to Vera and her business. She didn’t have the funds to buy a new camera to meet the modern photography expectations her customers had, but she relied on the business to provide for her and her two children. 

After being awarded a loan through B’edaya, Vera took action to make every cent count. She bought a digital camera, choosing to purchase a used camera over a brand-new one to save as much as possible. With the remaining amount, she bought a CD copier and specialized graphics software she could use to create photos and videos. 

Vera’s B’edaya loan helped her to improve her studio and made the studio’s work stand out in her area. From the generated revenue, she was then able to buy a color printer, an instant photo maker, a new computer, and the digital camera she had always wanted. 

She is now well known by locals for her high-quality photo and video production! 

Stories like this show us how important micro-finance loans are to widowed women, many of whom just need an extra helping hand. We are blessed to see women like Vera thrive after getting the encouragement and support they deserve. 

With your help, more widowed women in Egypt can find the independence they need to unlock their God-given potential and serve as admirable examples to their children and their communities. 

 

*Name and image changed to protect the privacy and dignity of the individual.

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Mary*, a widow from Upper Egypt, didn’t have many opportunities in the local job market after her husband died. Still, this mother was determined to work to support her children.

Mary ran a grocery store out of her own home for the next 10 years, but times were tough. She couldn’t afford to stock the shelves with many different goods, and her profit margins were incredibly slim. She needed financial assistance to turn her home business into a stable, profitable enterprise.

The Be’daya project provided Mary with the loan she needed to move her business out of her house and into a true shop. She used the leftover money to buy a refrigerator and a display for her goods. She even made her own shelves for her new shop.

Soon, Mary’s small shop transformed into one of the finest grocers in her small town. She was able to buy the seasonal goods that were in demand. Word of mouth spread throughout the town about the quality and variety of her merchandise, and her customer base continued to grow.

Mary never forgot the Be’daya project’s role in helping her succeed. “The money I received from Be’daya helped me feel it was finally safe to expand my business,” she said.

Egyptian widows with Mary’s entrepreneurial spirit aren’t hard to find; they simply lack the financial means to achieve their business dreams and provide for their families. With your help, the Be’daya project can help these widows lift themselves out of poverty and create a new generation of Egyptian businesswomen.

 

*Name and image changed to protect the privacy and dignity of the individual. 

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Organization Information

Coptic Orphans

Location: Merrifield, Virginia - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @copticorphans
Project Leader:
Nermien Riad
Merrifield, VA United States
$24,919 raised of $50,000 goal
 
214 donations
$25,081 to go
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