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. 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 Loan Funds assist entrepreneurs and business owners in Israel to open or expand their businesses, through loans with highly attractive conditions. 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.
- Strengthening Israeli society
- Narrowing socio-economic gaps and uplifting vulnerable populations
- Encouraging the creation of new small and medium-size businesses
- 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
- Building pride and a sense of personal investment in Israel for Jewish communities worldwide
From an idea to a successful business - How Does It Work?
The process starts with the entrepreneur contacting an independent business advisor or MATI centers (entrepreneurship development centers) around Israel. The business concept is examined and an application for basic approval is submitted. The Jewish Agency considers whether the entrepreneur satisfies the preset criteria and the bank looks at financial risks involved.
If basic approval is obtained by the two parties, the entrepreneur has to apply to MATI or the advisor for help with preparing a business plan that describes the idea and its the marketing and financial potential.
The business plans are submitted to the Jewish Agency officials and bank officials, and are discussed by a public committee at prearranged times. The public committee comprises representatives of the Jewish Agency and of the lending bank, and the chairman is a public representative. The committee discussions include examination of the business plan and meetings with the entrepreneurs and the supporting advisor. If the loan is approved, the Jewish Agency becomes a guarantor for the bank loan for the amount set by the committee.
The Jewish Agency signs agreements with the bank and assumes partial financial responsibility in cases of non-payment. The fund offers excellent conditions including, as aforesaid, provision of the Jewish Agency's guarantee without which it is sometimes difficult to obtain regular commercial loans. The loan fund payments are refunded to the Jewish Agency and serve as capital which is subsequently deposited at the bank and serves as collateral for providing additional loans in the future.
For further information:
- Amir Sznajderman - firstname.lastname@example.org, Director of Loan Funds Unit
- Hebrew site with detailed information on the loan funds.