Our Partners, the Faces of Vitas Palestine

Sobhi Abo Za’roor, Nablus: Creating Jobs, Not Just Clothes

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As the longest standing microfinance institution in the Vitas network, Vitas Palestine (currently transforming from Ryada) has built many deep ties with clients since it was started in 1995. Sobhi Abo Za’roor, from Nablus, is one such client. A father of four, this resourceful tailor kick-started his nascent business with Vitas Palestine back in 2003 with a loan of $3,250. Starting out with three sewing machines and only two full time employees, Sobhi approached Vitas about getting a loan to buy more sewing machines. Seeing the dedication and effort he had put into the business so far, Vitas said “yes” and from there a lasting partnership was born.

From this first loan, Sobhi and his two full-time and three part-time employees grew his business enough to need four additional loans, which were used to purchase fabric and pre-cut fabrics from merchants in Israel. The early success of his business carried over into his personal life as well, where the profits from his tailoring work meant that he was able to send all his children to school, including university. Most recently, and after taking a fifth loan, Sobhi and his client advisor from Vitas worked together to structure his sixth loan for $20,000, which he used to start buying fabrics directly from China, so that his employees could do the cutting and tailoring from scratch in his own workshop.

In addition to the 15 full time tailors he now employs in the workshop, Sobhi is creating jobs outside the shop as well: he has started sending fabric home with his employees, so that their wives can tailor from home if their circumstances don’t allow them to be away for long periods of time. Sobhi is now registered in the Tailors Association, as well as the Merchants Association in Nablus, and Vitas couldn’t be more proud to call him a partner.