The Ard El Khair Cattle Fattening Incubator which was developed as part of the Youth Employment Support Program in Egypt, was selected among 850 submissions to be showcased in the recent Paris Peace Forum. The Paris Peace Forum is an annual global platform which highlights the best solutions in development initiatives from around the world.
The project was presented by Br Syed Hassan Alsagoff, Lead Economic Empowerment Programs Specialist at the Economic Empowerment Department as the Project Team Leader. He explained how the project was able to create an economic empowerment model of for a more equitable distribution of economic opportunities among young marginalized populations. The incubation model provides underprivileged young women with technical expertise in livestock production and financial means to enable the purchase of young livestock.
Br Alsagoff presented how the project has developed a triple win solution for three key stakeholders of the cattle fattening value chain. The poor young mostly female clients were able to obtain financing of about USD 30,000 to purchase young livestock without any collateral, received training while getting an allowance and obtained a share of the profits generated upon graduating from the incubator. After graduation, they started a new small business of cattle fattening at home. By creating an incubator, Ard El KHeir benefitted by expanding their production without incurring high capital expenditure as they were still able to purchase fattened cattle from their graduates. They were also able to leverage on the low cost of financing provided under the program. For the financial institution which is also the Executing Agency, the Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA) are assured that the financing were well utilized and created jobs. The guarantee provided by Ard El Kheir also mitigated any concerns that they may have in providing uncollateralized loans to the young women.
The project demonstrated that to obtain success, it was important that the developmental partners go beyond Access to Finance. They need to develop comprehensive solutions for Economic Empowerment of the poor and that the Islamic Development Bank is well poised to share this expertise due to its experience and knowledge in promoting Shariah compliant products through various Economic Empowerment models.