Change is in Your Hands: Grameen-Jameel And Kiva Support Entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa

Women and youth in the Middle East are pushing boundaries, creating their own opportunities and taking control of their futures. They are the seeds of positive change and you can be a part of their stories through the new Grameen-Jameel Microfinance Ltd. and Kiva campaign, “Change is in Your Hands.”

The campaign allows people around the world to go on Kiva and, with as little as a $25, offer a helping hand to entrepreneurs in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen and Turkey.  For a limited time, through the generosity of Grameen-Jameel Microfinance Ltd., new users can get a free trial and make a free loan when they visit!

Lending just few dollars can help break down the obstacles women and youth in the region face when trying to make a living to support themselves and their families.

These small entrepreneurs are making critical changes for their families, communities and countries. 

Surprising stats

  • 74% of women in the Middle East and North Africa do not have an income
  • 2/3 of the population in the region are under age 30
  • 1 in 4 youth (under age 30) in the region are unemployed
There is a severe lack of jobs and opportunities for women and the growing youth population in the Middle East. Grameen-Jameel and Kiva are helping fund the development of businesses that will not only bring in needed income for the entrepreneurs who start them, but will also create jobs for a population with the highest unemployment in the world. Increased income across the board will improve economic stability in the Middle East and offer a better future for the next generation.

Grameen-Jameel donates $1 million to the cause

Grameen-Jameel Microfinance Ltd. is the first social business in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The organization provides financial and technical assistance to its MFI partners in the Middle East and is committing $1 million dollars to the “Change is in your Hands” campaign. The funds will be used to give users a free trial to experiment with lending and allow users to double their impact by matching up to $665,000 worth of loans made on

A lack of opportunity, lack of income, and lack of agency prevent huge numbers of people in the Middle East from contributing to the workforce. Now change is in your hands and at your fingertips at  Help the groundbreaking ideas, inspirations, and initiatives of women and youth entrepreneurs come alive, and spread the word to your networks so they can join in!

About the author

Audra Wingard

Audra just graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Anthropology and Education. She was first introduced to microloans during a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico where she toured a group of small businesses local women had started using microloans. She was inspired by the excitement these women had about their businesses and the successful profits they were already gaining from them. Audra wants to work for Kiva and help motivated people overcome financial obstacles and achieve their dreams. During her time at UC Berkeley she volunteered in a number of schools and education programs in Oakland and San Francisco and loves to work with kids. She plans to go to graduate school for International Educational Development. and hopes to eventually work internationally to help increase access to education.