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

Project Report | Jun 3, 2019
Financial Independence: A Reason to Feel Empowered

By Suzanne Toma | Director of Communications

A B'edaya mother poses for a picture in her home.
A B'edaya mother poses for a picture in her home.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Many of us are familiar with this old adage. But to many B’edaya widows, it's not just a saying -- it’s an expression of a new strategy in life.

Heba, a B'edaya mother, who was widowed in 2005, at the age of 30, found herself in a crisis. Her husband, who worked as a driver, was the primary source of income. Without him, she could not support her family. Heba had only received an elementary education and finding any form of work was very difficult in her village. 

Living with her children in a small house with only basic utilities, Heba needed to devise a strategy for supporting her family.

She noticed her village's rising demand for animal feed. Many of the villagers desperately needed grains for their livestock, particularly chickens who were used to supply the village with poultry.

Heba quickly realized she could start her own business by making animal feed for these villagers. Heba decided to use legumes, which were cheap and relatively easy to harvest. At first, Heba struggled to get her business off the ground. However, after three years of hard work and steady demand, she received a microloan from the Coptic Orphans B'edaya program.

With this seed funding, Heba finally had the capital to buy enough supplies to meet demand. B'edaya staff also visited her and offered their support as she faced the typical challenges associated with starting a new business.

Soon Heba’s business built its own reputation in the village. Villagers came to trust her product as well as Heba’s expertise. With the success of her venture, Heba expanded her offerings by using additional revenue, to harvest different legumes and create different types of feed for different livestock.

Moreover, although Egypt’s market volatility impacted other businesses in the area, demand for Heba’s feed continued to grow.

To those who did not know her, Heba may have seemed like just another widower in one of Egypt’s poorest villages. But to the Coptic Orphans reps who believed in her, she was so much more: she was a model of self-sufficiency -- proof that women in Egypt, (even widows who are considered the worst off) could gain financial independence, and in the process, claim a sense of empowerment that they had never felt before.

Heba’s growing confidence in her own skills also changed her outlook on life. She now exhibits focus and leadership and proudly describes her experience “I’m the only provider to my neighbors in the village. Everyone knows me well. I feel different about myself. B’edaya microloans helped me to increase my revenue and invest that revenue back into the business. Now I can pay my bills, cover my household expenses, save money for the future, and continue to run my business without a lot of risk.”

Heba is one of many confident entrepreneurs in the B’edaya Microloan Program sponsored by Coptic Orphans. Through microloans, women come to see themselves as more than just widows, but competent and talented individuals equally capable of caring for their families through the creation of unique business ventures that serve their community.

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Mar 8, 2019
Honoring B'edaya Mothers in the International Women's Day

By Angie Henein | Program Associate

Jan 2, 2019
From a Vulnerable Widow to a Self-Confident Business Owner

By Nermien Riad | Executive Director

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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

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