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EBRD Steps Up for Women-Led Businesses in Egypt

Women's Tabloid News Desk
Women's Tabloid News Desk

By giving Tasaheel for Financing (Tasaheel), Egypt’s largest lender to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), a loan of EGP 700 million (or €13.2 million), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is strengthening its support for women entrepreneurs in Egypt.

This investment, which is part of the EBRD’s Women in Business initiative, intends to increase the availability of financing for women-led, privately held MSMEs, especially in areas outside of Greater Cairo and Alexandria where banking facilities are scarce. Tasaheel will also get a full package of technical cooperation from the EBRD in addition to the financing. This package would improve overall access to finance and make it easier to introduce new financial solutions designed specifically to meet the needs of women-led MSMEs. Initiatives to increase capacity for specialist lending and monitoring are part of it.

Women’s economic engagement is encouraged by the EBRD’s Women in Business initiative, which provides financial, advisory, training, and mentorship support to female entrepreneurs in a range of sectors and industries. The program’s target audience is women-owned small enterprises, which are those with fewer than 250 workers and annual revenue of less than €50 million. With this project, the EBRD is getting involved in Egypt’s microfinance industry for the third time.

With a roughly 26% market share in microfinance, Tasaheel, a subsidiary of MNT Halan, is Egypt’s largest microfinance institution and a noteworthy non-bank lender for SMEs. Since its founding in 2015, Tasaheel has increased the diversity of its portfolio and steadily improved its lending practices. In 2020, the organisation started the process of digital transformation, and in 2021, it launched SME finance services. With more than 700 locations throughout 25 governorates, Tasaheel is dedicated to advancing social and economic empowerment. It currently serves 2.2 million clients, the majority of whom are women (62%).

Tasaheel stresses financial inclusion through customised services and solutions designed for underserved segments, in line with MNT Halan’s goal. The organisation works to strengthen marginalised and low-income communities by promoting better living conditions, higher incomes, and general community and economic development.

Since the EBRD’s inception in 2012, Egypt has been a primary area of concentration for the organisation. Nearly €11.9 billion has been invested by the EBRD in 178 projects so far, spanning a variety of industries in the nation, including manufacturing, services, finance, agribusiness, and infrastructure projects including power, wastewater services, municipal water systems, and transportation enhancements.

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