Opening Doors of Opportunity
Banks and other financial institutions typically require six months of business operating experience before making a lending decision for a young microentrepreneur. However, because of their circumstances, many young microentrepreneurs cannot mobilize the necessary capital from friends and family to get their businesses started, so they aren’t able to get that critical six months of experience that banks usually require.
To help break that vicious circle, Silatech teamed up with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to pilot an innovative new loan program that helps young Palestinians get started with their own businesses.
“Mubadarati” (“my initiative”) is a loan guarantee fund that enables UNRWA to extend credit to young Palestinian and other startup entrepreneurs with less than three months’ operating experience throughout UNRWA’s operating regions.
The first such youth-focused loan guarantee structure in the entire Arab world, “Mubadarati” is the first access in their lives for many young Palestinians to formal sources of finance and credit.
We expect that “Mubadarati” will provide financing for 2500 youth-run startup micro-businesses over three years. Building on this model, Silatech is in discussions with partners in other countries about implementing a similar guarantee structure drawing on the regional fund.