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Alexandria Business Association

The Alexandria Business Association’s (ABA’s) long-standing commitment to community service, and more recent focus on the very poor, makes the organization much more than just a lending institution – it is a leading double bottom line MFI in the region and the world. ABA transitioned to playing a greater role in community service, and in 1988, was registered with the MOSA under No. 952 for the year 1988 as per the law No. 84 as a private non-profit organization. The following year, ABA signed a cooperative agreement with USAID to implement a Small and Micro Enterprise (SME) initiative in the region, and by January 1990 the association’s first microcredit loan was disbursed. ABA’s roots trace back to 1983 when the organization was founded under the Chamber of Commerce to (1) provide support for the private sector, (2) promote the interests of businessmen, and (3) create networking opportunities As of June, 2012, ABA had serviced over than 640,000 clients, almost 48.62% of whom are “poverty borrowers and 54.60% (114,899) of whom are women. ABA serves clients in seven governorates with a network of 60 branches in (Alexandria – Behira – Kafr El Shikh – Minofia – Gharbia – Matrouh- El Sharkeya) and 1200 professional staff. ABA offers a host of non-financial services to its clients, and the communities it operates in, on both a fee-based and gratis basis. It’s most significant non-financial services include insurance assistance, medical discounts, and computer, literacy skills classes to help micro and small-business owners understand how to perform basic computer tasks such as word processing and using spreadsheets Blossoms Blossoms loans are intended to assist individuals in initiating or expanding income generating activities to improve their living standards. By targeting female heads of households, Blossoms indirectly seeks to improve the health and living standards of its clients’ families. Blossoms loans are extended through the solidarity group lending methodology, where groups are comprised of five members and are repaid through weekly installments. Development Path Like Blossoms, the Development Path also relies on the solidarity group lending mechanism; however groups are comprised of only three members. The loan targets successful Blossoms graduates, as well as new clients and can include a male member and are repayment frequency are biweekly installments. Successful Development Path clients are encouraged to advance to the larger and more flexible SME loans. Small and Micro Enterprise (SME) ABA’s original product, the SME loan targets both active entrepreneurs and individuals with viable business. The SME product is offered to both men and women, and is extended on an individual basis. Loan amount range from 1500 to 100,000 EGP ($ 250 up to $ 16,666) repayment frequencies are monthly installments. Towards Self Employment (TSEP) ABA also has a micro-grants program called Towards Self Employment (TSEP), which serves as a feeder into Blossoms. This program provides the poorest of the poor with a one-time grant to help cover bare necessities as they develop their income generation concept, and set out on the path to becoming a Blossoms borrower. Step By Step (SBS) ABA has launched SBS program in 2012 targeting unemployed and out of school youth, male/female and 18-22 with a target to equip 5000 youth with vocational and soft skills that qualify them for the employment market.SBS candidates should attend a vocational training and soft skills trainings on Marketing, Sales, Financial Education, starting business and communication skills, once the SBS candidate commits to the training he/she gets a grant of LE 500 ($ 84) as a seed capital to set in motion their activity. SBS program is supported by MEDA Canada and Rotary Faros Club-Alexandria. References