Egyptian women get EBRD loan boost

The EBRD is increasing its direct lending to women-led micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in its first engagement in the Egyptian microfinance segment.

Under the Bank’s  Women in Business (WiB) programme in Egypt, a $5 million loan in local currency will be extended to Tanmeyah Microenterprise Services, in a bid to increase access to finance for women-led MSMEs, which remain an underserved segment in Egypt.

The loan will be indexed to CONIA (Cairo Overnight Interbank Average), the new Egyptian risk-free rate recently developed by the Egyptian Money Market Contact Group, which brings together representatives of the central bank, commercial banks and the EBRD.

The WiB loan is intended to  help Tanmeyah to introduce and develop new financial products, as well as to modify existing lending practices and business models to make them more inclusive and gender-responsive. Tanmeyah will also implement a digital transformation strategy.

Supported by funds from the EU Initiative for Financial Inclusion,  Tanmeyah will benefit from internal capacity-building and skills development to more accurately understand and serve the financial needs of women-led MSMEs. In addition, capacity-building and advisory services will be delivered directly to women-led MSMEs under the programme to support women entrepreneurs’ know-how, in conjunction with EBRD Advice for Small Businesses. Tanmeyah is the largest of nine private Egyptian microfinance institutions.

Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD. Since the start of its operations in the country in 2012, the Bank has invested over €5 billion in 99 projects in the country. In 2018, Egypt was the EBRD’s largest economy where the Bank invests, in terms of new commitments.

The EU Initiative for Financial Inclusion is a comprehensive programme to help micro, small and medium-sized businesses in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region to become more competitive and grow. It provides finance and know-how to boost development and create jobs.

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