In partnership with the Egyptian Social Fund for Development (SFD), the World Bank launched its US$300m Enhancing Access to Finance for Micro and Small Enterprises Project. The aim of the project is to increase access to finance for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) on a sustainable basis. This would in turn support Egypt in meeting the many challenges it faces following the 2011 revolution, by encouraging private investment, creating new jobs, ending poverty, and promoting shared economic prosperity
While stimulating growth and generating employment opportunities, the project has also been successful in reaching people and communities that lack access to finance. This has been achieved through the design of the project, which has two components. The first is a credit facility for micro enterprises which disburses funds through banks, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and micro-finance institutions (MFIs). The second is a credit facility for small enterprises that disburses through the banking sector.
“This project has played a critical role in the post-revolution period, reaching poor villages and underserved Governorates” said Dr Sahar Nasr, World Bank Lead Economist and the Task Team Leader of the project.
Dr Nasr added that “the project contributes to ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity through creating sustainable private sector jobs, particularly for women and youth.”
Since its launch in 2011, the project has disbursed $240m, which constitutes around 80% of its total amount. Women and young business owners have received 25 percent and 30 percent respectively of the funds disbursed. As of last December 2013, the project had led to 111,000 new jobs; including over 21,000 jobs in the small business sector, and over 89,000 in the micro business sector.
Article from The World Bank’s website