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Women Empowerment In ,

Microcredit helps vulnerable women start businesses in Alexandria

Young women take credit and learn skills to start their own businesses

Lack of job opportunities -especially among youth- is one of the main problems facing the Egyptian community. While unemployment is at around 12%, more than 30% of young people do not have a formal job. Especially young women have difficulties in finding employment – finding employment is five times harder for them than for young men.

Self-starters

Young people who do not find a job or have low income may start their own business to improve their standard of living. However, they need collateral papers to get a loan from the bank. In addition, they need knowledge and skills to successfully run their own moneymaking projects.

Women participation in productive activities is restricted, because of traditions and cultural norms, including women’s primary role in raising children. The challenge for female entrepreneurs is to initiate projects from their homes that can be combined with raising children.

Our approach

We enable micro-entrepreneurs to manage their initiatives and their lives. We empower the youth and women to create their own job opportunity.

Complementary activities

The microcredit program offers three distinct activities that help micro-entrepreneurs get their project off the ground.

  1. Provide microcredit to small entrepreneurs, with special emphasis on women, to create job opportunities and increase their income
  2. Organize technical and vocational training and workshops to build beneficiaries’ entrepreneurial capacities and improve their managerial and production skills
  3. Organize exhibitions and facilitate beneficiaries’ participation to strengthen their marketing skills and reach new markets.

Facts and figures

Target group

Unemployed youth and women between 18 – 65 years, who want to start a small income generating a project.

  • Almost 6,000 beneficiaries received a loan since 1991
  • 1,026 entrepreneurs received a loan in 2017
  • More than 2,500 beneficiaries participated in non-financial services, such as training programs, exhibitions and veterinary services

Where

In the urban slum, rural and semi-rural areas of Alexandria and El Behera.

Period

The Microcredit project started 1991 and is ongoing.

Partners

  • Sponsors: Irish embassy, Netherlands embassy, Misereor, MEPI (Middle East Partnership Initiative) and Caritas Austria
  • Local partners: Microcredit sector cooperated through 11 local CDAs in different areas in Alexandria and El Behera

Results

  • 1,026 beneficiaries run their own micro-project
  • 709 beneficiaries acquired management, marketing and financial planning skills to run micro-projects
  • 148 beneficiaries raised their vocational skills through training programs such as sewing clothes, making women accessories, hardware mobile, air conditioning, computer maintenance, etc.
  • 174 beneficiaries participated in sales exhibitions to enlarge their potential market
  • 650 beneficiaries benefited from vet services such as veterinary convoys and training programs related to proper breeding of poultry and animals
  • 836 beneficiaries benefited from medical convoys
  • Increased percentage of women who established their own projects

Contact

Mrs. Amal Sobhy
Responsible of Micro credit department
E: amal.sobhy@caritasalex.org
P: (03) 4806306