A life-changing loan

Nearing 80 years old, Susan found herself falling into a financial hole. After a predatory mortgage tore through Susan’s finances, she found herself experiencing homelessness for the first time in her life. Her only income was her social security, and she did not have a safety net. Unable to find a place to move into due to credit problems, Susan …



Meet John Nahimana from Burundi

Since he was a teenager, John has always known he was good at cutting hair. He got his start helping his brother trim hair at a salon in Malawi when he was very young. Now, 17 years later, John is achieving his dream of opening his own full-service salon here in America. Called He & She Salon, John’s shop is …



The Ingredients to Start a New Life and Restaurant

Meet Salam Bunyan from Baghdad Salam Bunyan is an expert chef. He grew up in Iraq experimenting with different flavors and combining ingredients. He lived and worked around food in Iraq — including serving as a chef at a five-star restaurant in Baghdad — until 2006, when war forced him to leave his native country. In the early ‘90s, Salam …



Aanish Shamim

EO Microloan Processor Aanish is the first point of contact for folks looking for financial assistance. He loves interacting with people and listening to their stories. Originally from Pakistan, Aanish looks for any way he can help people disrupt the systemic barriers they may face. Prior to starting at EO, Aanish assisted students at the College of Western Idaho in …



Hana is Fulfilling Her Dream

Hana grew up in Baghdad, where food, groceries, and bakeries were always a family affair for her. Both her grandmother and mother owned stores there, and she and her brothers have fond memories of helping and playing in those stores when they were small children in Iraq. Today Hana is fulfilling her dream of having her own store. She recently …



Meet Laylo from Somalia

Laylo was born in Somalia but grew up in Kenya. She came to Idaho in 2009 and loves it here. “Boise feels like a second home,” she says. “People are so helpful and welcoming, and we’ve made lots of friends.” Laylo experienced many ups and downs before coming to the United States, having spent 18 years in refugee camps. But …