IFC and Egypt’s MSME Finance Federation partner to expand access to finance for micro businesses
06-04-2022 08:47:00 | by: Pie Kamau | hits: 1603 | Tags:

To support the growth of microbusinesses across Egypt, IFC and the Egyptian Medium, Small and Micro-Enterprise Finance Federation have launched a program to strengthen 41 of the country's microfinance institutions (MFIs), helping them expand their outreach to better serve their clients.

Through the partnership, IFC and the Egyptian MSME Finance Federation will provide training, coaching, and mentoring to 41 of Egypt's smaller MFIs on corporate governance, credit methodology, risk management, internal audits, strategic business planning, and digital financial services.

The goal is to help the MFIs, which have portfolios smaller than EGP10 million, upgrade their operations and expand their client base of micro businesses across the country. IFC and the Egyptian MSME Finance Federation will also work directly with the CEOs of the MFIs to help them strengthen their strategic decision-making skills through a mentorship program and webinars.

Many micro and small businesses in Egypt struggle to access the financing and support they need to grow. The new program, known as the "Institutional Upgrade Program", aims to address the microfinance gap and help MFIs widen their outreach to micro businesses. This program is sponsored by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and is supported by Egypt's Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA).

"Smaller MFIs are playing an instrumental role in providing access to finance to the poor and underprivileged, particularly in under-served and remote areas, and this program empowers them to develop their institutional capacity, expand their outreach and have access to funding.  We are proud of our Institutional Upgrade Program and our partnership with IFC and look forward to offer this opportunity to more MFIs," said Mona Zulficar, Chairperson of the Egyptian MSME Finance Federation.

"Micro and small -sized enterprises are more likely to struggle to access finance compared to larger firms. This program aims to support small MFIs in Egypt by building the capacity to allow them to attract more funding in order to reach and finance more MSMEs, contributing to growth and job creation," said Yasmine El-Hini, IFC Egypt Country Officer and Acting Country Manager for Egypt and Libya.

This project aligns with IFC's broader strategy in Egypt to help address funding gaps faced by MSMEs. IFC's investment portfolio in Egypt stands at $1.2 billion. Over the past two fiscal years, IFC has committed and mobilized more than $720 million in the country, supporting private businesses and economic activity through the COVID-19 pandemic.