As we turn the page to 2021, it’s important that we reflect on the prior year. Of course it was a challenging one for many of us, on many levels. However, in reflecting I think mostly about the resilience of liwwa and the businesses that we serve.
When the large-scale business closures came into effect, we contacted our clients to better understand their immediate needs and how we could offer support. That feedback back shaped our planning, including how best to accommodate 250+ clients with liwwa loans at the time. The entire company shifted focus; we rolled out new technology to expedite the restructuring effort. It was a massive undertaking, but we understood the importance of being proactive and fast.
In a recent survey, borrowers gave us 9.3/10 when asked "How fast was the team in responding and adapting to the crisis?" and 9.2/10 when asked "How much do you think liwwa cares about the local community?” We’re very proud of this.
As time passed it was encouraging to see how our clients adapted and bounced back as portions of the economy reopened. We quickly resumed lending, eager to support our borrowers and the community. Ultimately, despite the market circumstances, we issued over 230 loans in 2020.
We estimate that financing from liwwa supported $34 million in economic output and $5 million in income for Jordanians during the year. Most importantly, our experience over the last six to nine months gave us increased confidence going into 2021. Whereas other lenders have pulled back, we’re dramatically scaling up our support to local businesses. This year we will expand our physical presence to the North and South of Jordan in an effort to substantially increase the number of clients that we serve. We’re also launching an ambitious growth plan in Egypt where the need for fast, short-term financing remains incredibly large.
Our mission is to create job and income growth in the markets that we serve. I’m proud that liwwa is here to help businesses and the economies that they drive to recover rapidly. We’re part of this ecosystem; we support each other and grow together! While 2020 was hard, we start 2021 as confident and resolute in our mission as ever.