The majority of the over 5,000 Zera Israel now living in Gondar Town moved there from outlying villages. They have found it difficult to find good work and are living below the poverty line.
To help them make a new start, Meketa USA provides microloans at zero interest rates to adults who want to start or develop a business.
The Micro-enterprise Program
The program is operated in conjunction with the Gondar Town Small and Micro-Enterprise Office (SMEO). Applicants submit a business idea stating the aim of their business and the reason it will be successful.
Applicants are selected for a five day training course given jointly with the SMEO. Those that pass the course examination are offered help to compile a simple business plan and subsequently they receive a loan.
Our field worker, Abraham, provides the beneficiaries with training and continuous support to ensure they can make the most of business opportunities.
The lady pictured with her daughter opened a shop in 2015, and was one of our first beneficiaries. She purchased a container, and the government supplied the land at no cost. She is still in business and sells tea, bread, chilli powder and powdered shiro (made primarily of ground chickpeas).
The cafe in the picture has also been trading successfully for several years. The owner employs a young lady to help her operate the cafe.
Can provide training & a loan to start a new business
....more micro-enterprise success stories
'This lady used her loan to sell vegetables outside her house. She employs her daughter to help selling vegetables to consumers and seeds to farmers.
This market trader is married with four children. He was one of our initial beneficiaries in 2015, and sold vegetables in the market.
This lady received a loan to expand her injera baking business, which allows her to sell around 50 injera a day to neighbours and students.