The American Friends of KIEDF offers organized support for the work of KIEDF. Under the leadership of President Abraham D. Sofaer, 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.
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.