Microfinance has been operating in Egypt since the 90's; however this has not created a market of savvy borrowers. Through our market research we found that the façade of interest-free Islamic loans has created a lack of clarity around interest rates and compounded the issue of low financial literacy among men and women.
Magda Salem, a mother of three children and a wife of a taxi driver, started her own business of buying fabric from suppliers, cutting and sewing it into scarves and selling them to her neighbors and relatives. Magda soon saw an opportunity in the overpopulated neighborhood in Cairo, the Dar Al Salam district. She decided to grow her business by leasing a shop in order to rent dresses to women in the neighborhood. “I realized that this could be a profitable business for me and a service that women need frequently for many occasions and events” explains Magda.