Cairo, Egypt, September 23, 2018—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is today signing an agreement with Banque
Misr, Egypt’s second-largest bank, to help expand the number of women-led
businesses in its SME Banking portfolio, part of IFC’s wider efforts to
boost financial inclusion for women entrepreneurs in the country.
IFC will work with Banque Misr to conduct market research on the needs
of women in business; provide access to global best practice; and develop
and implement a sustainable business model for its women banking program.
It will also support the bank in helping informal micro businesses—often
owned or led by women—move to the formal sector. The aim is to turn Banque
Misr, which has a network of 620 branches, into the country’s leading
bank for women in business.
The signing was attended by a number of senior officials from the banking
sector, including Lobna Helal, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt.
Mohamed El Etriby, Chairmanfrom of Banque Misr said: “Women entrepreneurs
make up a significant portion of smaller businesses in Egypt but they struggle
to access the finance and support they need to manage and grow their businesses.
For banks, this represents a missed business opportunity. With IFC’s help,
we aim to expand our outreach to this segment, support businesses in Egypt
to grow, create jobs, and drive economic growth.”
SMEs contribute 38 percent of total employment and 33 percent of Egypt’s
GDP, but often struggle to access financing. Women-owned SMEs, in particular,
have an estimated credit demand of $283 million and $246 million of potential
“Women entrepreneurs are changing the face of the global economy and helping
to sustain job creation, but only about 1 in 10 have access to the capital
they need,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Regional Director in the Middle
East and North Africa. “IFC is working to address this gap in Egypt by
partnering with financial institutions like Banque Misr to develop the
strategies they need to serve this key untapped market segment.”
The project will be executed under IFC’s Women Banking Champions program
in MENA, a donor facility supported by Switzerland’s State Secretariat
for Economic Affairs and IFC’s Global Banking on Women program.
IFC’s Global Banking on Women program aims to help partners and financial
institutions serve women-owned businesses profitably and sustainably. With
a goal that 25 percent of its loans provided to SMEs through financial
intermediaries go to women-owned SMEs, IFC has launched 40 women banking
projects in 27 countries under the program to date.
IFC, a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank
Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more
than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging
the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared
prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org