Founded in 2011, the SANAD Fund for MSME is an impact investment fund dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). SANAD, which means “support” in Arabic, aims to help micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region by providing much-needed funding, thereby contributing a critical engine for inclusive economic growth, job creation, and prosperity for borrowers.
Preserving and generating jobs in the MENA region is quite unthinkable without MSMEs. This sector accounts for nearly two-thirds of GDP and almost three-quarters of employment in the region. Since inception, SANAD has partnered with over 30 local financial institutions to funnel more than $600 million to MSMEs throughout the MENA region.
Impact story: Inspiring women to start businesses
The SANAD Fund for MSME has been a partner of the Microfund for Women (MFW) since 2015, working together with the institution to expand financial inclusion to Jordan’s underbanked entrepreneurs. As the largest microfinance institution in the country, MFW’s extensive branch network facilitates access to financing for even remote clients. Over 90% of MFW’s clients are women.
Bara’a al-Thawra is the founder of Tabeetna Organic Beauty Products. In 2013, shortly after graduating college, al-Thawra established her company with just 20 dinars – a little under 30 US dollars. The ingredients for her formulas came from local farmers and the family kitchen was her laboratory.
Soon, al-Thawra was selling her products through local shops and salons as well as on social media.
Within three years, the Tabeetna brand had earned the trust of a growing clientele. In order to expand production and scale up, al-Thawra needed a loan but when she went to local commercial banks, she was turned down. “They said it was too risky,” she explains. It was through MFW that al-Thawra was able to get a small business loan to purchase high-quality ingredients and hire staff.
As the business has grown, doors have opened where Tabeetna can vend at bazaars and exhibitions and share her experiences, inspiring other women to start businesses too.
The Praxis commitment
Praxis Mutual Funds supports organizations such as the SANAD Fund for MSME through investments in Calvert Impact, an impact-investing institution that helps people around the world through community development financing. It’s part of the Praxis commitment to place approximately 1% of each of its funds to benefit neighborhoods and individuals through community development investments.