In Lebanon, A Coastal Bakery Flourishes

Naji in his bakery, which he has expanded with microfinance loan from IESC USAID
Naji expanded his bakery business with a loan through the Lebanon Investment in Microfinance Program.

Ever since Naji returned from Brazil to settle in Jbeil, Mount Lebanon, he has worked to share his passion for baking with the local community. Naji wanted to expand his bakery and cater to the summer tourists who flock to Jbeil for its coastal beauty. But in order to expand, he needed capital.

After learning about the Association d’Entraide Professionnelle (AEP), a microfinance institution supported by the Lebanon Investment in Microfinance Program, Naji applied for a loan and received $4,000. Naji used the loan to purchase an ice cream machine that would appeal to summer tourists and local residents. He also purchased a delivery car, which helped him to expand the reach of his business opportunities.

Due to these enhancements, Naji’s monthly net income increased by 20 percent and the bakery’s popularity flourished. Naji is very proud of his achievements. ‘The loan made my life much easier and came at the right time and occasion,’ he said.

In 2009, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) started the Lebanon Investment in Microfinance Program, implemented by the International Executive Service Corps through the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance. The LIM program is designed to increase access to finance in rural areas of Lebanon by supporting microfinance organizations.

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