EBRD boosts small firms in Tunisia
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is helping to increase the availability of funds for small firms in Tunisia through a local currency loan equivalent to € 2 million to Advans Tunisie, an international microfinance institution serving more than one million customers worldwide and 16,000 in Tunisia by the end of 2019.
Access to finance and liquidity constrain the growth of many private businesses in Tunisia. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the core of the economy, accounting for more than 80,000 companies and 40 per cent of the country's GDP. Small firms employ more than half of the population while Tunisian micro-enterprises, which accounts for more than 1 million, contribute to the creation of about one million jobs.
The EBRD funds will help Advans Tunisie to increase its finance for small local enterprises, a segment that remains largely underserved. With a network of 15 branches across the country, Advans Tunisia offers loans to companies in urban and rural areas and provides advice and support to its clients.
Advans Tunisie will receive technical support to strengthen its institutional capacity in the areas of credit and operational risk management.
Since the start of its operations in Tunisia in 2012, the EBRD has invested € 934 million across 46 projects and provided technical assistance to nearly 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises, two-thirds or which are in the regions of the country.
The Bank's investments aim to make Tunisia more competitive by opening markets and strengthening governance. They also seek to promote economic inclusion for women, young people and those living in remote areas, strengthen the resilience of the financial sector and support the country's transition to a green economy.