£2 million emergency loan fund is wartime lifeline for Israeli companies

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£2 million emergency loan fund is wartime lifeline for Israeli companies

Spark IL says individuals across the Jewish world will be able to choose a small business to support for loans starting from as little as $25.

Leading Israeli peer-to-peer lending platform SparkIL has announced a NIS 10 million (£2.15m) loan fund to support small businesses impacted by the war.

Established in partnership with The Jewish Agency for Israel and The Ogen Group, the platform enables users to participate in crowdfunding interest-free loans, which aim to make a real impact on underserved populations across Israel.

Through the initiative, individuals across the Jewish world will be able to choose an Israeli business to support for loans starting from $25 – a way for lenders to “turn business owners’ hurt into hope at Israel’s darkest hour,” said the company.

Users can explore business opportunities based on SparkIL’s categorisation: People, Place, and Purpose, that align with their own values and aspirations.

They can search for prospective opportunities and sort options according to Israel’s demographic communities (Ethiopian Israelis; Haredim; Israeli Arabs; LGBTQ individuals; new immigrants; people with disabilities); cities and regions (Negev/south, the Galilee, Golan Heights; the Jerusalem area and so on) and socioeconomic causes (coexistence, art/culture/leisure, education, employment, environment, health, youth at risk).

The loan fund is offering up to NIS 100,000 (about $27,000) in assistance per business at a time when economic conditions are creating an unprecedented strain on their operations. New estimates from the Israeli central bank forecast the war with Hamas to cost Israel roughly $53 billion between now and 2025, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. predicts Israel’s gross domestic product will shrink 11 per cent this quarter on an annualised basis.

Na’ama Ore, CEO of SparkIL

Na’ama Ore, CEO of SparkIL, said: “Around the world at a time like this, it is common for the typical supporter of Israel to ask, ‘How can I help?’ SparkIL has always offered a unique opportunity in that realm, and today that resonates more powerfully than ever.

“With small business owners hurting, these loans transform Israelis’ hurt and pain into hope. Simultaneously, for as little as $25, we give lenders a purpose and a tangible way to help.”

After repayment of their loan, lenders can choose to reinvest their money into other worthy businesses — ensuring that their initial loan has ripple effects indefinitely — or to withdraw their funds from the platform.

“SparkIL helps put the mutual responsibility the Jewish people have for one another into action,” said Amira Ahronoviz, CEO and Director General at The Jewish Agency. “The loans granted by SparkIL will help small businesses and non-profit organsations in Israel survive this challenging period and allow supporters around the world to connect with Israel in a meaningful and impactful way.”

Sagi Balasha, CEO of The Ogen Group, added, “Our goal is to provide the victims of the war and of the economic crisis with immediate assistance, particularly through a quick and seamless process with minimal bureaucracy.”



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