Cairo, Egypt, November 29, 2010—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with the Union of Arab
Banks to study the challenges faced by small and medium enterprises, particularly
women-owned businesses, in Egypt when accessing finance. The study will
make recommendations on how banks can better support these businesses.
Using the study’s results, IFC will work
with Egyptian banks to develop tailored financial products so they can
increase their lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), particularly
women-owned businesses, and support their expansion.
IFC will also meet with business owners to
understand their financing needs and government stakeholders to understand
the overall legislative environment related to SME finance. The study is
expected to be published by the end of June, 2011.
Jim Gohary, IFC Regional Business Line Leader
for Access to Finance, said, “The results of this study will provide a
great opening for dialogue at a national level on the availability of finance
for women-owned business in Egypt, and will hopefully generate great interest
from banks to develop appropriate financial products for this sector.”
Mr. Adnan Youssef, Chairman of the Union
of Arab Banks, a regional banking association headquartered in Lebanon,
said, “In our continued effort to deepen banks’ activities in the Middle
East and North Africa region, and to sustain growth rates, we are cooperating
with IFC in this new project ultimately to set a clear roadmap for effective
access to finance for SMEs in general and women-owned SMEs specifically.”
This study is part of IFC’s ongoing efforts
to help increase access to finance in the Middle East and North Africa,
particularly to SMEs and women-owned businesses.
IFC Advisory Services in the Middle East
and North Africa has been supporting regional efforts to develop financial
infrastructure, build the capacities of commercial banks to provide financial
services to SMEs, strengthen bank’s risk management frameworks, increase
the availability of microfinance, and expand the availability of affordable
housing finance by developing robust primary and secondary residential
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest development institution
focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity
for people to escape poverty and improve their lives—by providing financing
to help businesses employ more people and provide essential services, mobilizing
capital from others, and delivering advisory and risk-management services
to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty,
our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For
more information, visit www.ifc.org.