Sharakat Fund, an MSME Investment and Financing Platform, launched by the Palestine Investment Fund signed partnership agreement with Asala Company for Credit and Development to provide micro financing to Palestinian businesswomen at marginalized areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The signing of the agreement was attended by Deputy PM and Minister of Economy Dr. Mohammad Mustafa.

Asala Company for Credit and Development was created by the Palestinian Businesswomen’s Association (Asala) in response to the new regulations of the Palestine Monetary Fund that require microfinance agencies to be registered as companies of capital of a minimum of USD 5 million. Consequently, Asala shifted its assets, including its loan portfolio of an estimated value of USD 4.4 million, to the Asala Company for Credit and Development.

Sharakat Fund invests USD 1.1 million in Asala Company for Credit and Development to enable the Company to be in agreement with the new regulations of the Palestine Monetary Authority. The investment also contributes to achieving the Company’s objective to raise its capital to USD 5 million and raise its loan portfolio to USD 11 million within the next five years, which will contribute to serving larger numbers of businesspeople in Palestine.

The investment made by Sharakat Fund in Asala Company for Credit and Development and the Company’s loan portfolio will be used to finance Palestinian women as top priority and small businesses run by women. The loan amounts will range between USD 500 and 20,000 to meet the needs of entrepreneurs to start a business or to expand ongoing businesses. The loans will also serve personal needs such as education, medication, home improvement …etc.

Mrs. Reem Abboushi, Asala Company Executive Director, said “We at Asala Company are proud of cooperating and being in partnership with the Palestine Investment Fund –through Sharakat Fund- and the agreement shows the cooperation at different levels to improve the economic situation of business women at marginalized areas. Palestinian women will have the opportunity to borrow money to start a business especially the people who could not obtain loans from banks and other institutions that require loan collaterals. Asala Company seeks to realize its vision to empower Palestinian women of limited resources to have access to economic and social rights. The approach is comprehensive development based on women’s needs and to improve their economic situation. Consequently, more success stories of Palestinian economy will be achieved by women. Asala provided more than USD 31.5 million in loans to women between 1997 and 2013.”