Press Releases

IFC, Union of Arab Banks to Help Small and Medium Enterprises in Egypt Access Finance

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +202 24 619 140

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 mortgage markets.

About IFC
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