Shadia had no savings and only seven Egyptian pounds (about $1 USD) in her pocket. She was an illiterate widow living with her only son in Alexandria. What could she do with that money?
For seven Egyptian pounds, she could buy bread for four days. Or, she could spend it all on one meal of beans or lentils.
But Shadia had her eye on something much more valuable: she wanted to educate her son. She needed that money —and much more — to pay his school fees.
So here is what she did.
She applied for a microcredit loan to start a mini-mart in her small village. When her application was approved, she gained access to resources that empowered her to start and run a successful business. Shadia can't forget the first day villagers swarmed her store to to buy their staples. Through this small project, Shadia took her first sturdy step towards financial independence earning about 200 pounds a month.
This project turned life around for Shadia and her son. It was the perfect choice.
The truth is that there are countless widows in Egypt barely scraping by. Many have the creativity to do a lot with a little, but they still need that extra bit of help that will lift themselves and their children out of poverty.