The Ethiopian community in Israel continues to struggle.While progress has been made in the area of education, current and potential household income continues to be a major challenge. The average income of an Ethiopian Israeli household is 35% less than the average Israeli. Ethiopian Israelis are underrepresented in all spheres of Israeli life. Many members of the community are under employed in areas lacking any potential for future growth and advancement. The significant and overwhelming challenge of Ethiopian Israeli owned businesses' ability to attain credit has been recognized by the Israeli government. The government turned to KIEDF to develop an answer to these credit and business development needs.
In the past KIEDF managed special business training courses and a microfinance loan fund to assist EThiopiabn Israeli business owners. While the project assisted, we learned that the scale of credit from microloans was inadequate.
The Nonbank Loan Fund and Business Development Services for Ethiopian Israelis is providing access to loans of up to ₪150,000 combined with services. The Fund was developed at the end of 2017 and began operation in February of 2018. Over the next five years this pilot program is expected to reach hundreds of businesses.