The American Friends of KIEDF offers organized support for the work of KIEDF. Under the leadership of President Jeffrey Farber, the American Friends’ efforts in fundraising, advocacy and strategy aim to help move Israel toward a free-market economy and to enhance economic expansion in Israel’s private sector.

While it began as a modest experiment in deploying philanthropy to spur economic growth in Israel, KIEDF has grown to become the state’s dominant private-sector, small-business development program, helping thousands of Israeli small businesses to create and sustain tens of thousands of jobs while strengthening the environment for economic growth in the private sector.

KIEDF’s focus on the small-business sector has successfully facilitated nearly $245 million in loans to private enterprise, bringing self-sufficiency and dignity to tens of thousands of Israeli business owners and their employees. Most extraordinarily, these accomplishments have been achieved at a cost of approximately 4.5 percent. (Costs include loan losses, interest subsidies, and overhead.)

Using unique models that leverage loan funds from partner banks, KIEDF was the model for the Israeli government’s own small business loan program launched in late 2003.

Key programs include:

  • KIEDF Small Business Loan Fund, the original KIEDF program, works in partnership with bank Otzar Hachayal and Discount Bank to leverage loan guarantees and provide interest subsidies to small businesses lacking access to credit on reasonable terms. (Read profiles of loan recipients.)
  • KIEDF Microenterprise Initiative, which provides loan guarantees to economically disadvantaged populations seeking to establish home-based and other small businesses. KIEDF’s Microenterprise Initiative partners with Economic Empowerment for Women and Bank Hapoalim to identify program candidates and help them to qualify for loans of up to $5,000. (Read profiles of loan recipients.)
  • KIEDF Israeli Arab Loan Fund, which leverages loan guarantees to businesses owned by Israeli Arabs, or jointly owned by Israelis and Israeli Arabs, in partnership with The Center for Jewish and Arab Economic Development (CJAED) and Mercantile Discount Bank. (Read profiles of loan recipients.)

KIEDF Managing Director Carl Kaplan and KIEDF Board Chairman Eival Gilady, Brigadier General, Israeli Defense Forces (Res.), oversee these programs while developing new directions based on the KIEDF model that put philanthropic dollars to use to help fuel Israel’s economy.