The Jewish Agency’s Loan Funds were initiated by Jewish communities in the United States, and have been successfully developing Israel’s economy since 2001. Today six different loan funds assist entrepreneurs and business owners in Israel's periphery through loans with highly attractive conditions enabling them to open or expand their businesses.
How does it work?
The Loan Funds program is operated by The Jewish Agency’s Partnerships Unit, which also oversees Partnership2Gether and a variety of projects that build connections between Israeli communities and Jewish communities around the world. Our most notable partners in our Loan Fund initiative are the Jewish communities of New York, Miami, MetroWest New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and the Central Area Consortium.
The Jewish Agency’s agreements with the banks allow us to leverage donations received from our partners to four times their value: every dollar contributed makes possible a loan of four dollars. The Jewish Agency acts as a partial guarantor for the loans, to support those businesses that otherwise would have a difficult time qualifying for loans or presenting the necessary collateral for them.
Our Loan Funds are based on a revolving collateral pool: each loan paid off allows the granting of a new loan. So far the return history is especially high standing at over 98% of the money given.
So far, our loan beneficiaries have received a total of nearly 170 million NIS in loans (over $49 million).
Compared to those of other loan funds, The Jewish Agency’s loan approval process is simple and quick. Additionally, the business owner is guided throughout the process by a loan fund coordinator, who uses an innovative internet loan fund-management system.
First and foremost the funds help entrepreneurs and business owners turn their dreams into a reality. The opening and expanding of small business help Israeli society by
· Strengthening Israeli society , especially young populations in Jerusalem, the Negev and the Galilee
· Narrowing socio-economic gaps and uplifting vulnerable populations
· Expanding the activity of existing businesses by upgrading their technology and operations
· Creating jobs, reducing unemployment, and stimulating economic growth
· Improving quality of life for residents of Israel’s social and geographic peripheries
· Contribution to the welfare and quality of life in Israel's periphery
· Building pride and a sense of personal investment in Israel for Jewish communities worldwide
Since its inception, and through the end of 2013, The Jewish Agency has assisted about 1,100 businesses and created about 5,500 jobs.