Mar 23, 2020
Babylon Province Wednesday, 18-3-2020 The corona crisis hit Iraq hard, imposing lockdown in major cities and exerting pressure on the healthcare sector all over the country. As medical facilities and municipal services are essential to sustain overall continuity, Vitas Iraq set a new objective to support these organizations with a series of humanitarian initiatives. The first event was carried out in Hilla, Babylon province, where a team of Vitas Iraq staff set off to distribute healthcare kits including 20 000 facial masks, 12 000 medical gloves, 64 medical costumes, 100 liters of alcohol, 25 liters of medical disinfectants, and 16 laser thermometers to several hospital ECU units. A part of the facial masks was also given out to local security forces divisions, who are working hard to... Read more
Feb 22, 2020
Vitas Group, created by Global Communities is a for-profit holding company that operates a network of microfinance companies, predominantly in the Middle East. They are a unique group of companies with more than twenty years of proven track record of successfully lending to micro, small, and medium enterprises and the only such investment vehicle for impact investors in the region. Since 2004, Vitas companies have disbursed more than $3 billion to over 1 million customers with an annual default rate below two percent. Every two years, Vitas Group surveys clients in its affiliated institutions to assess customer satisfaction, the impact of loans... Read more
Jun 05, 2019
Vitas Group recently issued a report including a Gender Action Plan that seeks to offer tailored services and a better understanding of the needs of women clients, which is expected to result in improved retention and outreach for borrowers. Vitas Group is a Global Communities enterprise established in 2006 as a microfinance holding company with subsidiaries in Lebanon, Romania, Jordan and Palestine, and affiliates in Iraq and Egypt. In 2018 the Vitas Group launched the Vitas Values Equality initiative to raise awareness and secure from all tiers of management a commitment to embracing gender equality across the network. Then in March of this year Vitas Iraq,... Read more
Dec 15, 2018
Message from Elissa McCarter-LaBorde, CEO of Vitas Group The year 2017 marked several exciting developments for Vitas Group. We signed shareholders agreements and closed investments with new commercial partners in Lebanon and Egypt. Saradar Bank purchased a 49 percent stake in Vitas Lebanon and committed $20 million in new debt financing to expand our footprint across the country. Saradar Bank is a premier financial institution in Lebanon and has been at the center of Lebanese banking for over 60 years. Egyptian private equity firm BPE Partners, through its new subsidiary “Ebtikar,” entered a 50/50 joint venture to launch Vitas Egypt. Vitas Egypt will be the first microfinance company in the country... Read more
Dec 10, 2018
By Elissa McCarter-LaBorde, CEO of Vitas Group. Originally published on the Center for Financial Inclusion website. In 2014, Vitas launched a special needs loan program in Iraq, made available to people with disabilities (PwDs), particularly youth. The loan amounts range from US $100 to $3,000. Our current portfolio of almost $200,000 includes nearly 300 clients. What was the need for a product to reach this segment? We realized that there were huge negative misperceptions around and persistent stigmas associated with PwDs. People who are blind, deaf, partially paralyzed, have missing limbs, or have other special... Read more
Feb 09, 2018
Building Economic Prosperity in Iraq, One Small Loan at a Time For a long time, Nada Khoudair considered herself an ordinary housewife and mother who took pride in her role of taking care of her family. But her view of herself altered dramatically when her husband passed away and she found herself the sole breadwinner for herself and her son. She rose to the challenge and opened a small hair styling salon. The space was small and needed a lot of renovations, but she was determined to make it work so she could support herself and keep her son in school. Nada was barely covering her expenses when she learned about CHF Vitas Iraq, a finance institution that provides small- and medium-sized loans to Iraqi entrepreneurs and homeowners. The first loan she took out allowed her to purchase modern... Read more
Aug 14, 2017
Vitas Group Publishes 2016 Annual Report Vitas Group was created in 2006 to help unite the commercially-oriented microfinance institutions owned by Global Communities under one brand and one mission: Financing a Better World. Vitas Group’s staff around the world still worked tirelessly to bring that mission to life. Vitas Group is proud to share this 2016 Annual Report, to showcase the ways our work has a positive social and financial impact on communities around the world. Despite turmoil and uncertainty in many of the places where we work, Vitas remains a partner for good.... Read more
Apr 17, 2017
Digital Financial Services: The Next Frontier For Financial Inclusion In The Middle East BY ELISSA MCCARTER-LABORDE This article was originally published on SAIS Perspectives Elissa McCarter-LaBorde, Chief Executive Officer of Vitas Group, is Vice President of Development Finance for Global Communities, where over the last 12 years she has built the technical department that manages Global Communities’ microfinance, SME, and housing finance operations. Ms. LaBorde has 18 years' experience as a microfinance practitioner. Prior to Global Communities, she spent seven years in the field, having started up and managed two microfinance institutions in Armenia and Turkey, and... Read more
Feb 22, 2017
Building an Inclusive Financial Sector in Iraq By Iftin Fatah, Investment Officer, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)  |  This article originally appeared on the Center for Financial Inclusion Blog.
Adaweya struggled to support her family after her husband became disabled. With financing for Vitas Iraq, she was able to expand her sewing business, increase her income and provide a better life for her children. Limited access to credit in the developing world is often exacerbated by conflict, which presents a strong demand for microfinance. In Iraq, for example, only 11 percent of adults hold an account at a formal financial institution, according to the... Read more
Aug 02, 2016
Fostering Resilience in the Middle East: A People Centered  Approach to Risk Reduction The seamless integration of disaster risk reduction into overall business planning means that, when disaster does strike, the company is well prepared to manage the impact and respond quickly. All of this helps fulfill Global Communities’ mission to build safer, more resilient communities. The following report explores three innovative approaches used by Vitas Group and Global Communities to successfully grow the financial inclusion sector in the Middle East over the last 20 years, despite the region’s persistent political and economic instability: the development of community- and people-focused disaster management... Read more
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