Leyla probably doesn't think of herself as being in "agribusiness," but that's the way she spends most of her working and waking hours. She's the major breadwinner in her family of five in a suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, and keeps her family's income stream flowing by growing olives and other crops as well as beekeeping.
|Beehives in Leyla's Field
Recently, she took a big step forward by applying for and getting a loan from a microfinance institution Al Majmoua. Al Majmoua is a part of the USAID-funded "Lebanon Investment in Microfinance" program implemented by IESC and VEGA (Volunteers for Economic Growth).
Leyla's loan was triggered by a need to counter the loss of a large number of bees due to changing weather conditions. As she weighed her options and looked ahead, she worked out a loan package that included the purchase of a delivery truck, upgraded her ability to cultivate fruit trees, restored her bee population and honey production, and helped bolster her olive oil business. Her $5,000 loan is putting her farm on a firmer financial footing and has already increased her family's monthly income from $500 to $700.
Since its start-up in 2009, the Lebanon Investment in Microfinance (LIM) program has provided 11,024 loans to small businesses in Lebanon.
*Personal names have been altered to protect the privacy of our partners