Establishment of Revolving Credit Fund to Support Livelihoods Recovery in NE Syria –Phase II

Following the success and promising potential of the SRTF’s pilot intervention “Revolving Credit Fund(RCF) implemented in collaboration with Near East Foundation (NEF) in Northeast Syria (NES), the SRTF launched phase II of the RCF project in partnership with NEF, namely: “Establishment of Revolving Credit Fund to Support Livelihoods Recovery in NE Syria –Phase II."

 

The new project aims to expand the reach while optimizing the operational model by introducing three Siraj satellite centers that will improve the financial viability of the facility while expanding to 7 new communities. It has the following objectives that the RCF; reduces its reliance on external support, improves its financial viability, scales up its client base, and develops a more sustainable financing modality.

 

In terms of beneficiaries, Phase II will issue two types of loans to 1,000 selected entrepreneurs through new lending capital at six Siraj centers in NES (Al-Hasaka, Ar-Raqqa and Deir Ez-Zor) – including three centers established under Phase I. The RCF will select participants using an assessment that balances eligibility, needs with business suitability. This approach targets entrepreneurs with growth potential who are credit ready among a broader population of the targeted communities. This nuanced approach reduces the demand on grant-based livelihoods services while creating new demand for sustainable loan products for a segment of entrepreneurs who are credit ready but currently have no access to financing products.

 

Moreover, an additional 218 loans will be issued through repayments of previously issued loans (i.e. revolved funds) under Phase I based on the estimated number of entrepreneurs with high-growth potential in the specific geographies. Additionally, following NEF’s priority of inclusiveness and diversity, NEF will aim to reach participant ratios of more than 30% women and at least 20% youth. NEF will also improve outreach effectiveness and facilitate application process among persons with disabilities, beneficiaries from female-headed households, households without earners, and displaced or returnee populations.  

Under Phase II, the RCF’s will deliver:

  1. Financial products:
  • Micro-loans for individual entrepreneurs with micro-businesses meeting criteria for growth potential and credit readiness. The loans range between US$400 and US$1200 with a repayment period up to 30 months. Collateral guarantee may be requested, and group solidarity may support as a guarantee.

 

  • Development loans have similar parameters to micro-loans, but they are provided to small businesses based on a credit assessment that assesses annual revenue, total assets, operating profit, debt burden ratio, business age, applicant expertise, loan purpose etc. These loans range from US$1,201 to US$3,000 and they require collateral in the form of guarantors and may also include owner’s income, assets, and promissory notes.

 

Portfolio At Risk: NEF built on learning from Phase 1 and has utilized scenario planning to assist with constructing an accurate and detailed financial product menu. Although the portfolio-at-risk as of 31 December 2021 is 0,28%, NEF continues to factor a 5-10% default rate across geographies and sectors. The design of Phase II – including the number of borrowers under each financial product – builds on this learning.

  1. Non-financial Products and Services

NEF will provide non-financial products and services as complementary and targeted support to reduce business risks and increase business scalability (i.e., revenue, profits and jobs). These are:

  • Business development training (5 days) will employ NEF’s established Siraj curriculum and materials, which helps participants assess the viability of business ideas, develop business plans, and improve their practical management For existing businesses, training focuses on product/service development, investment readiness, business diagnosis, growth plans, and new business systems or processes. Out-of-the-box thinking in business ideation is encouraged to avoid redundant business and market saturation.
  • Life skills and financial literacy trainings (3 days) are designed to help vulnerable households manage irregular finances and ‎unexpected costs and mitigate risks associated with harmful coping strategies (e.g., increasing debt, selling productive assets, reducing food intake, relying on child labor and early marriage, school leaving). Training participants will ‎build capacities in conducting market analysis and livelihoods capacity ‎ Life skills trainings are demand-driven and may focus on goal setting, communications and dialogue, networking, problem solving, and protection issues.
  • Marketing and market access training and coaching will involve marketing training (3 days) and market access training and facilitation (3 days). Topics may include customer retention, access to new or improved markets, standards and certification, pricing, packaging and labelling, sales tips, peer-to-peer networks, and meetings with market actors.

 

At a total budget of EUR 2 million, this project will be implemented over a period of eight months with the goal to build on the first phase in terms of impact, scalability, and sustainability to help accelerate economic recovery and stabilization in NES.

 

For more information on this project, please visit:

The SRTF Funds a Second Phase of the Revolving Credit Fund in Northeast Syria

Establishment of Revolving Credit Fund to Support Livelihoods Recovery in NE Syria –Phase II

Establishing a Revolving Fund to Support the Restoration of Livelihoods in Northeastern Syria – Phase I

 

For more information on the SRTF visit:

http://www.srtfund.org

 

Media outlets may contact:
communications@srtfund.org


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