Handicrafts program starts granting loans to small businesses

Damascus, SANA – Efforts have been boosted over the past few years to support small enterprises and encourage young people to start their own businesses, with many initiatives and programs launched to that effect.

“As-Suriya for Handicrafts” is one of those programs which was launched by the Syria Trust for Development, a non-governmental, non-profit organization that works on empowering individuals and communities in Syria to fulfill their role in building their society and shaping their future.

The program has started granting small loans to owners of small businesses, working in cooperation with the First Microfinance Institution-Syria (FMFI-S), which was initially established as a program in March 2003 as the first private-sector microfinance service provider in the country, only to be later transformed into a regulated non-bank financial institution under the new Syrian microfinance law In 2009.

The program works on providing support for local craftsmen and artisans as well as documenting, revitalizing, developing and modernizing traditional products and crafts.

The program’s executive director Fadi Farah told SANA Youth Bulletin that the program has provided a bail to get funding from the FMI-S that will be allocated to expanding a project to produce dairy products free of preservatives.

“We also help the business owners to develop, preserve and market their products using modern means,” said Farah.

The program seeks to increase the number of craftspeople and secure small loans to encourage them, and also targets young men and women with special needs as it works on empowering them and helping them improve their handicraft skills.

It mainly helps in providing places for manufacturing and wrapping and local and external markets for crafts products in cooperation with local partners.

The program has so far worked in the fields of crochet, loom, traditional costume dolls, homemade food products, hand blown glass items, and most recently handmade natural soap.

Haifa Said

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