Helping Poor Coptic Families Start their Own Business
Based on the homes we have visited, there were two kinds of poor families: families who are able to start their own small business idea (to provide for themselves) or develop their existing small business and those who are unable to start a small business due to illness, disability, aging problems, and other situations that makes starting a new business for the family an unwise decision.
Mariam is an example of those who qualified to start her own business. Her husband lives with an advanced heart condition that doesn’t allow him to work much. We purchased for her a commercial oven to bake bread for her children and to sell it to her network in the church. Now she has over 30 customers who purchase bread from her on a weekly basis.
Mikhail is another example of those who we approved to expand his own small business. He cleans and repairs shoes on the curbside of the road. We purchased a new commercial pickup tricycle for him, and a large quantity of new shoes to sell on this pickup tricycle. When there are no customers buying shoes from him, he cleans and repairs shoes as he’s accustomed to doing. Now, instead of staying all day long on the curbside of the road waiting for customers, he takes his business to his customers in the surrounding cities and villages.
Hedra, another aid recipient, lives with a physical disability, but that doesn’t prevent him from running his own business. Owning a small payment-collection company, he collects monthly phone payments from 600 customers. His net profit from this business is around 2000 Egyptian pounds a month. Lately, his old motorcycle had prevented him from reaching all his customers every month. We purchased for him a new motorcycle to be able to continue running his business and increase the number of customers he reaches every month. Now he has about 650 customers and still has a room in his schedule to increase this number.
Ayman, another aid recipient, sells children’s toys on curbsides. His small business wasn’t doing well because he needed more variety of children’s toys. Ayman also needed to purchase a larger quantity of toys to receive a bigger discount that would allow him a larger profit margin. Coptic Cross paid off his old debt to the wholesale merchant and bought a large quantity of children’s toys for him. Now Ayman sells more children’s toys and his profit margin has increased.
With your support and working hand in hand with the Coptic Church in Egypt, we support qualified Coptic families to break the cycle of poverty by helping them start and develop their own small business.
$500 enables us to help a poor Coptic family start a new small business.
$1000 enables us to help a poor Coptic family grow their small business.
Support a Small Business Project for a Coptic Family in Need
Everytime we visit a Coptic family in need, one of the most important questions we have in mind is how we can help this family break the cycle of poverty? Also, how can this family become self-sufficient financially? Through the case studies we conduct, we do our best to find out whether the person can succeed or fail in business.
Upon our approval of a case, we assign a church volunteer as a case manager for the family. We purchase the machinery/merchandise and help the family finish all the legal paperwork. Upon completion of the paperwork, we release the machinery and merchandise to the family and deliver it to their business location. We also install the machinery and train them on how to operate it and maintain it.
Depending on each family’s circumstance, we enroll them in one of two types of small business development programs. In the first program, we establish the business for the family as a grant and do not require them to pay the funds back. In the second program, we establish the business for the family as a loan and require them to pay the loan back with zero-percent interest. For the loan program, we decide on a monthly amount that is very reasonable for the family to pay back. The small business loan program encourages participants to be responsible and to give back while allowing Coptic Cross Ministries to support more small business projects.
With your support and by working hand in hand with the Coptic Church in Egypt, we support qualified Coptic families to break the cycle of poverty by helping them start and develop their own small business.