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IDA Program Helps Family Start Business

Posted on April 23rd, 2015.
By Kellie Ferguson
San Diego, CA. 

The Individual Development Accounts (IDA) program

IDA program

Inas, Waad, and their son stand in front of their new trailer.

at the Alliance for African Assistance helps refugees to become financially self-sufficient. The program is funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services through the Alliance’s Refugee Resettlement Office. It sets up an account for a client where they can save for the following asset categories: home purchase, micro-enterprise business investment, post-secondary education and job training, or a family vehicle. Based on what category a refugee has saved for, the IDA program matches their savings with a grant of up to $4000.

“Most people use the IDA program because they want to buy a car. However, the program is really beneficial to people who are trying to start a business by helping them get over that first big hurdle,” said IDA Program Manager Jalen Brown.

Saving money for a business is what Inas Khammi and Waad Gorges did. Inas came to the United States as an Iraqi refugee in September of 2010. With the help of the Alliance, Inas began a child-care business that she runs from her home. Inas and Waad began saving through the IDA program to try to start their own business for hauling cars. Waad applied for, and received, a transport license. Then they needed to purchase a large trailer that was capable of carrying vehicles.