Saeid’s Poverty Trap
   Saeid encountered a financial challenge last year that many of his fellow rural entrepreneurs know too well. While setting up his annual budget for his school supply shop, Saeid realized that the amount of expendable income he had was not enough to cover his clients’ requests. This lack of access to capital, a common occurrence in rural Upper Egypt, created a financial burden that could not be fixed without a direct source of capital.
    Fortunately, Saeid heard about a HANDS-sponsored microloan program for entrepreneurs looking to expand their enterprises. Access to credit meant he could keep up with client demands, pay his rent, and meet the basic needs of his family.
   Seeing a way out of his current situation before it got worse, he decided to apply.
   Through one of HANDS’ local partner organizations, Saeid was approved for a small loan that helped him stock more products and satisfy his clients’ requests. Additionally, the loan enabled him to buy a photocopier by installment, a now essential part of his business since he can charge people for making photocopies. He continued budgeting regularly and now his microenterprise has expanded comfortably. For the first time in his life, Saeid has a small amount of savings to fall back on in the future.
    The microloan Saeid received was exactly what he needed to get himself and his family out of an extreme poverty trap, which plagues the geographically isolated rural Upper Egypt.
    HANDS is grateful for our local partnerships with Egyptian organizations and our American donors, including Apache, who are helping hardworking entrepreneurs sustain their livelihoods.