Press Releases

IFC, Thomson Reuters Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Support Small Businesses in MENA

In Cairo, IFC:
Riham Mustafa

Phone: +20 2 2461-4230


At Thomson Reuters:
Tarek Fleihan

Phone: +97144536527


Cairo, Egypt, November 23, 2016—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today with Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of news and information for professional markets, to help develop smaller businesses in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and drive economic growth.

The MoU aims to help small and medium enterprises in MENA improve their governance framework and boost access to finance, networks, skills, information, and markets. Thomson Reuters already operates the Accelerate SME platform in the region, which helps smaller businesses reach the information they need to grow, while supporting SMEs through better access to finance and advice is one of IFC’s strategic priorities in MENA.

Nadim Najjar, Managing Director, Middle East and North Africa, Thomson Reuters, said: “This step confirms our commitment to build an ecosystem that connects the different stakeholders and supports the growth of the SME sector across the region. We recognize that today’s SMEs and entrepreneurs are the success stories of the future. Thomson Reuters will leverage its capabilities and provide powerful financial solutions, services, and workflows to business owners that require end-to-end resources for expansion and development.”

SMEs – a key driver of economic growth – represent about 80 percent of all business in MENA countries, and make up close to 40 percent of employment in some MENA markets.

As part of the agreement, IFC will connect Thomson Reuters to financial institutions in its client base interested in signing up as providers on the Accelerate SME platform. IFC will also promote the platform as part of its range of advisory services in MENA. Both institutions also aim to collaborate in facilitating and bolstering SME skills development.

“Small businesses form the backbone of MENA economies and are a potentially bountiful source of job creation and economic growth. But they often struggle to access financing and the right information to grow their businesses,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “This partnership with Thomson Reuters will help address some of those challenges to drive growth in the region.”

During fiscal year 2016, IFC committed over $1.3 billion in the MENA region, including $330 million in mobilization. IFC’s advisory services approved 20 new projects with a total value of over $21 million.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit

Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of news and information for professional markets. Our customers rely on us to deliver the intelligence, technology and expertise they need to find trusted answers. The business has operated in more than 100 countries for more than 100 years. Thomson Reuters shares are listed on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges. For more information, visit

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