Madeline Mohamed Mahmoud became the family breadwinner as a teenager, when her father fell ill. To support her parents and three siblings, she began working on a small sightseeing boat in Gaza—a place Forbes magazine calls “one of the hardest places in the world to live, much less start a business.”
In time, she went to Bank of Palestine, a long-time IFC partner and one of the West Bank and Gaza’s few lenders catering to women. It gave her a $15,000 loan and enrolled her in its Mini-MBA program, which IFC helped it develop to build local women’s business skills.
Today she has her own boat, employs five workers, and has an income double that of a typical family in Gaza living on aid. Her eyes are on the future. “I would like to maybe buy another boat with another loan,” she says. “I also want to open a seafood restaurant.”
IFC helped more than 100,000 women-owned small businesses secure financing worldwide in the last year. We have provided Bank of Palestine a broad-based advisory services package since 2013.